The Justice Department announced today that Bank of America will pay a record $16.65 billion fine to settle allegations that it knowingly sold toxic mortgages to investors.

$7 billion of it will go to consumers faced with financial hardship.

“We are here to announce a historic step forward in our ongoing effort to protect the American people from financial fraud – and to hold accountable those whose actions threatened the integrity of our financial markets and undermined the stability of our economy,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference announcing the settlement.

(READ the full story from Time)

Photo by JeepersMedia, via CC license

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