Schneiderman will seek to bar the bank's former chief executive,
Kenneth Lewis, and former chief financial officer, Joe Price, from
the securities industry and from serving on boards of public
companies, according to his office. It was not clear what sanctions
he would seek from the bank.
The 2010 lawsuit filed in New York state court by Schneiderman's
predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, accused Bank of America of misleading
shareholders about Merrill's losses and bonus largesse prior to a
December 2008 vote on the merger.
Merrill posted a $15.84 billion loss in the fourth quarter of that
year, even as it paid out $3.62 billion in bonuses. The merger
closed in January 2009.
Last April, a federal judge approved a $2.43 billion class-action
settlement on behalf of shareholders.
Under a 2008 decision by New York state's highest court,
Schneiderman cannot recover damages on behalf of investors who have
"We're not seeking damages in this case," Philip Barber, a lawyer
for Schneiderman, said at a status conference on Friday. "It has
been a number of years and we're trying to move this to conclusion."
He said the office would seek a judgment against the defendants, but
did not specify what it should contain. Lawyers for the bank and the
executives said they would try to have the case dismissed before
Schneiderman, who became state attorney general in 2011, was
criticized this week by people close to Cuomo for failing to get the
case completed before the class action settlement.
[to top of second column]
Schneiderman's office told Reuters on Friday the $2.43 billion
settlement in the class action had provided "great relief" to the
investors, and that the private settlement used evidence gathered by
The New York Times this week reported a deteriorating relationship
between Schneiderman and Cuomo, and noted a battle over $613 million
New York received as part of JPMorgan Chase & Co's $13 billion
settlement with U.S. authorities over mortgage-backed securities.
A Schneiderman spokesman declined to comment on the relationship on
Friday. A Cuomo spokesman did not return a call for comment.
Lawrence Grayson, a spokesman for Bank of America, declined to
comment on New York's pursuit of the case. A lawyer for Lewis
declined comment, and a lawyer for Price did not immediately respond
to a request for comment.
The case is People v Bank of America Corp, New York State Supreme
Court, New York County, 450115/2010.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld;
additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by
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