NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Ernst & Young

, the big accounting firm, could be charged with civil fraud for its alleged role in the collapse of

Lehman Brothers

, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is close to filing the case, which stems from "window dressing" transactions Lehman allegedly carried out to make its risk appear lower than it actually was, the

Journal

reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Ernst & Young earned about $100 million in fees from Lehman for its auditing work from 2001 through 2008, say people familiar with the matter.

Cuomo, New York's governor-elect, could come as early as this week, the newspaper adds.

It is possible that Ernst & Young will try to settle before any suit is filed. The firm declined to comment for the newspaper, as did a spokesman for the Lehman Brothers estate.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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