Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. agreed to pay almost $16.7 billion to end federal and state probes into mortgage bond sales, the harshest penalty yet related to loans that fueled the 2008 financial crisis.

The settlement, which includes $9.65 billion in cash and $7 billion in consumer relief, resolves civil investigations by government prosecutors, the U.S. said today.

“This constitutes the largest civil settlement with a single entity in history, addressing conduct uncovered in more than a dozen cases and investigations,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference today in Washington. “The size and scope of this multibillion-dollar agreement go far beyond the ‘cost of doing business.’”

The agreement cements Bank of America’s status as the firm punished hardest for faulty mortgage practices. It eclipses Citigroup Inc.’s $7 billion settlement in July and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $13 billion accord in November. Bank of America’s settlement also comes on top of its $9.5 billion deal in March to resolve related Federal Housing Finance Agency claims.

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