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SEC, Department of Justice investigating S&P

NEW YORK — Regulators are investigating Standard & Poor’s over some of its ratings, according to a filing by the S&P’s parent company.

The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., which owns the S&P ratings agency, says the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether the S&P broke federal laws when rating certain investments. McGraw-Hill says the accusations are unfounded and that it will vigorously defend itself.

The company didn’t provide more details during a conference call about second-quarter earnings. Last September, the SEC told the S&P it was considering filing a charge over its ratings on a particular investment offering from 2007, just before the housing crisis. Ratings agencies have been accused of giving improperly high ratings to packages of mortgage loans sold to investors, helping fuel the housing crisis.