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Jul 8, 2013 8:40 AM by AP/CS

S&P's lawyers want $5B lawsuit thrown out

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Lawyers for Standard & Poor's want a California judge to dismiss a $5 billion lawsuit that accuses the credit rating agency of refusing to warn investors about the collapsing housing market.

Arguments will be heard Monday in Orange County on the Justice Department lawsuit filed earlier this year. It's unclear whether U.S District Judge David Carter will make a decision following the hearing.

Federal prosecutors allege S&P knowingly inflated its ratings of risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. They believe the agency gave high marks to the investments because it wanted more business from the banks that issued them.

S&P's attorneys said the lawsuit is overreaching and they noted other agencies issued identical ratings before the economic collapse.

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