U.S. files civil mortgage fraud lawsuit against Wells Fargo

Oct 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and theU.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesdayfiled a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Co

in the latest legal volley against big banks for theirlending during the housing boom.

The government's complaint seeks damages and civil penaltiesfrom Wells Fargo under the U.S. False Claims Act and anotherfederal law for more than 10 years of alleged misconduct relatedto government-insured Federal Housing Administration loans.

Wells Fargo is the No. 4 U.S. bank as measured in assets.

The bank, in a statement, denied the allegations and said itbelieves it acted in good faith and in compliance with FHA andHUD rules. It said it has previously disclosed the investigationand will vigorously defend itself.

(Reporting by Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, N.C.; editing byMatthew Lewis)

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