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

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

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

The government's complaint seeks damages and civil penalties from Wells Fargo under the U.S. False Claims Act and another federal law for more than 10 years of alleged misconduct related to 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 it believes it acted in good faith and in compliance with FHA and HUD rules. It said it has previously disclosed the investigation and will vigorously defend itself.

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

((rick.rothacker@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 704 998 2504)(Reuters Messaging: rick.rothacker.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: WELLSFARGO LAWSUIT/