- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge in New York has given final approval to a deal calling for Wells Fargo Bank to pay $1.2 billion to the government to settle claims against it for improper mortgage lending practices.

U.S. District Court Judge Jesse Furman approved the settlement Friday in Manhattan.

Wells Fargo & Co. says the previously announced deal lets it put the legal process behind it.

The San Francisco-based company says the agreement settled a lawsuit brought by federal prosecutors and other claims going back 15 years.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH’-ruh) says the settlement came after one of the world’s biggest mortgage lenders relied on government insurance as it utilized reckless underwriting for years. He says the company was driven to maximize profits by driving up loan volume at the expense of quality.

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