The Justice Department has filed civil charges against Standard & Poor's, accusing the rating agency of refusing to warn investors that the housing market was collapsing in 2006 because it would be bad for business.
The department is seeking $5 billion in penalties from S&P. If Justice ultimately got that amount in a trial or a settlement, it would be larger than the amounts paid by companies in any of the department's previous civil settlements.
The Justice Department's 10 biggest civil settlements:
1. GlaxoSmithKline - $3 billion - July 2012
2. Pfizer Inc. - $2.3 billion - September 2009
3. Columbia/HCA I and II - $1.7 billion - December 2000 and June 2003
4. Abbott Laboratories - $1.5 billion - May 2012
5. Eli Lilly and Co. - $1.4 billion - January 2009
6. Merck Sharp & Dohme - $950 million - November 2011
7. Tenet Healthcare Corp. - $923 million - June 2006
8. TAP Pharmaceuticals - $875 million - October 2001
9. GlaxoSmithKline - $750 million - October 2010
10. Serono SA - $704 million - October 2005
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