In a statement late Thursday, the Justice Department said there was "not a viable basis to bring a criminal prosecution" against Goldman or its employees after a Congressional committee asked prosecutors to examine if the bank had been involved with any illegal acts related to several mortgage deals.

The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations had examined troubled mortgage securities that Goldman sold to investors, who later sustained steep losses during the crisis. The subcommittee also suggested prosecutors investigate whether the chief executive of the bank, Lloyd Blankfein, had misled lawmakers during public testimony.

Separately, Goldman Sachs announced early Thursday that the Securities and Exchange Commission had ended an investigation into a $1.3 billion subprime mortgage deal, taking no action. The move was an about-face for the commission, which notified the bank in February that it planned to pursue a civil action.

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