Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly overrating mortgage-backed securities, whose meltdown led to the 2008 financial crisis, according to a report published Thursday.
In particular, The New York Times said the government was looking into whether analysts for S&P, a unit of McGraw Hill Co., wanted to give lower ratings to the mortgage securities, but were overruled by business managers. S&P, like other ratings agencies, collects fees from issuers for rating securities.
The Justice Department declined to comment to CNN regarding the reported investigation. S&P did not immediately return comment to CNNMoney.
The report also said the Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating S&P, and might be looking into rating agencies Moody's Corp. and Fitch Ratings, concerning mortgage securities. SEC officials had no comment to CNNMoney.
Concerns that ratings agencies overrated mortgage securities have been voiced ever since the financial crisis. But the situation is complicated politically by the fact that the report comes nearly two weeks after S&P downgraded the credit rating of U.S. debt, stripping the world's largest economy of its prized AAA status.FULL CNNMONEY.COM STORY