RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's attorney general is joining 12 other states and the federal government by accusing Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in court of claiming to objectively evaluate investment risks while actually favoring and being paid by the companies selling securities.

Attorney General Roy Cooper on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Wake County alleging the investments rating agency engaged in deceptive business practices. S&P has denied wrongdoing.

North Carolina's lawsuit comes a day after the federal government filed a similar complaint accusing the company of fraud for giving high ratings to risky mortgage bonds that helped launch the financial crisis.

Cooper's case contends S&P promoted itself as neutrally rating complex financial instruments while privately catering to investment banks selling the securities to keep their business.

 

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