U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 46 mins

Iowa joins multistate lawsuit effort against S&P

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa has filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against credit rating agency Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which is accused of improperly giving high ratings on risky mortgage investments.

Attorney General Tom Miller announced Tuesday that the state's lawsuit in Polk County District Court against Standard & Poor's is part of a coordinated civil law enforcement effort with other states. They include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois and Mississippi.

The Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit late Monday against S&P, claiming the agency was more concerned with making money than issuing accurate ratings.

S&P called the lawsuit "meritless" in a statement.

The Justice Department's lawsuit marks the government's first enforcement action against a major rating agency accused of helping the 2008 financial crisis.