LOS ANGELES – A federal judge today rejected claims by Standard & Poor’s that its boasts of its ratings impartiality were nothing more than public relations “puffery” aimed at but not to be relied on by investors like WesCorp FCU and Eastern Financial Florida CU to buy what turned out to be billions of dollars of faulty mortgage-backed securities that led to their failures.

S&P, which rated the fated investments bought by WesCorp, Eastern Financial and others, has said statements about the integrity of its ratings are "puffery" that cannot be a basis for the fraud lawsuit, filed on February 4 by the Department of Justice.

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