This Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 file photo, shows a Citi Bank sign in Chicago. Citigroup will pay $7 billion to settle an investigation into risky subprime mortgages, the type that helped fuel the financial crisis. 

(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

The record $7 billion settlement announced today between Citigroup and the U.S. Justice Department follows a lot of digging by a team of investigators in Colorado. 

Lawyers and accountants with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Colorado and New York went through 25 million documents to uncover Citigroup’s involvement in selling investments backed by bad mortgages. 

"It's been a very intense time and the team here in Colorado has done just a tremendous job of getting in and really finding out the sorts of things that were going on that shouldn’t have been going on," John Walsh, U.S. Attorney for Colorado, says.

He says other big financial institutions are under investigation for their actions leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

"This is a significant step toward holding banks accountable for their conduct," Walsh says. "But it is by no means the last step.  I would anticipate that we’re going to see a whole series of these cases going forward."

The deal with Citigroup includes payments to state and federal governments and more than $2 billion in relief to consumers affected by the bank’s conduct. 

The settlement frees Citi from potential liability, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat said in the statement.