Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rut row: BofA board gets subpoenas

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 3:37 PM

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo isn't dicking around, he wants answers.

The New York Attorney General's office subpoenaed five members of Bank of America Corp.'s board Wednesday as part of an investigation into its acquisition of troubled investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co., according to a person familiar with the investigation.

The directors are expected to be questioned about what they knew regarding the mounting losses and bonus payments at Merrill before the deal closed on Jan. 1 and what role they played in deciding whether to disclose that information to shareholders, said the person, who asked for anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office is also likely to ask about any threats made by federal regulators to remove board members if the deal wasn't completed, as Bank of America executives have said.

The subpoenas come as Cuomo's office is preparing to file fraud charges in the coming weeks against several high-ranking executives at the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank over its acquisition of the troubled investment bank.

It wasn't immediately clear which directors received the subpoenas. Some of the subpoenas may have gone to former board members, since nine directors have been replaced this year as the bank overhauled its board.

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