SEC Probes BofA for Being Mum on Merrill Bonuses

Bank may have illegally misled investors over pre-takeover Merrill payouts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2009 7:22 AM CDT
SEC Probes BofA for Being Mum on Merrill Bonuses
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has labeled Merrill Lynch's bonus payouts irresponsible andis probing the bank's behavior.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

The SEC is looking into whether Bank of America violated federal law by failing to let investors know Merrill Lynch planned to pay its execs $3.62 billion in bonuses before it was taken over by BofA last year, the Financial Times reports. The regulator is reviewing the bank's disclosure to judge whether there was any dereliction.

A finding that the bank made illegal omissions would give more ammunition to New York AG Andrew Cuomo's own probe of the bonus payments. "Where the SEC believes that there has been an omission of material facts necessary in order to make the statements not misleading, we will carry out our enforcement responsibilities with vigor and vigilance," the head of the SEC wrote to Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich. (More Bank of America stories.)

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