Idaho will receive $21.5 million in a legal settlement with Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today, over allegations the credit rating company engaged in false, deceptive and misleading practices from 2001 to 2011, including actions leading up to the financial crisis that began in 2008. It’s the largest cash settlement ever obtained under Idaho’s Consumer Protection Act, except for the huge multi-state tobacco settlement. “I am pleased to have resolved this important enforcement action,” Wasden said today in a statement. “This settlement holds S & P accountable for its misrepresentations and sends a strong message that no company, no matter the size, is above the law.”
Overall, S & P will pay $1.375 billion to 20 states and the U.S. Department of Justice to end the multi-state litigation. The company is the world’s largest credit rating firm for financial instruments. “Instead of providing independent and objective ratings, S & P manipulated its analytical models to produce the credit ratings its clients desired,” Wasden said.