The U.S. Justice Department and multiple states are discussing also suing Moody's Corp for defrauding investors, according to people familiar with the matter, but any such move will likely wait until a similar lawsuit against rival Standard and Poor's is tested in the courts.
Inquiries into Moody's are in the early stages, largely because state and federal authorities have dedicated more resources to the S&P lawsuit, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly about enforcement discussions.
Moody's spokesman Michael Adler and Justice Department spokeswoman Adora Andy declined to comment for this story.
Moody's in the past has defended itself against similar allegations, including a 2011 congressional report that concluded the major ratings agencies manipulated ratings to drive business.
The firm previously said Moody's takes the quality of its ratings and the integrity of the ratings process very seriously. It also said the firm has protections in place to separate
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