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Echoes of the financial crisis sent Moody’s shares tumbling 5.4 percent Friday — their worst drop in four months — after the company disclosed that its simmering dispute with the U.S. over residential mortgage-securities ratings is headed to court.

The Department of Justice, which has been investigating allegations that Moody’s inflated ratings to win more business, is preparing a civil complaint, and states are expected to make similar claims, according to a Moody’s statement.

What’s more, the probes may expand to more assets, activities and time periods, the company said.

Moody’s expects the U.S. to cite a statute that’s been used to extract billions of dollars from companies tied to the 2008 mortgage meltdown.

Sloppy mortgage underwriting and lax bond ratings contributed to the financial crisis that caused at least $1.9 trillion in credit losses and write-downs at banks worldwide as home loans defaulted at record rates.

The Justice Department has been investigating Moody’s role for years, including allegations that it inflated ratings on mortgage bonds and collateralized-debt obligations at the heart of the 2008 meltdown so it could win more ratings contracts.