Colorado sues S&P over risky ratings

DENVER – Colorado has filed a lawsuit alleging that Standard & Poor's inflated its ratings on risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.

Attorney General John Suthers alleged Tuesday that the credit-rating agency put its financial interests above its self-described objectivity. The Denver District Court lawsuit seeks unspecified civil penalties and damages.

The U.S. government filed a civil lawsuit against S&P in federal court Tuesday. It claimed the agency gave high marks to mortgage-backed securities because it wanted to earn more business from the banks that issued the investments.

The federal government is seeking at least $5 billion in penalties. S&P says the lawsuit is without merit.

At least 12 other states filed lawsuits against Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday.