Skip to comments.Ex-BofA chief Lewis charged with fraud
Posted on 02/04/2010 1:31:17 PM PST by lbryce
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday it was bringing civil charges against senior Bank of America executives, including former company CEO Ken Lewis, for their role in the company's controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch.
Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it had struck a $150 million settlement agreement with BofA over its decision to pay billions of dollars in bonuses to former Merrill employees.
The lawsuit contends that the bank's management team understated the losses at Merrill in order to get shareholders to approve the deal, then subsequently overstated the firm's willingness to terminate the merger to regulators weeks later in order to get $20 billion of additional aid from the federal government.
"Bank of America and its officials defrauded the government and the taxpayers at a very difficult and sensitive time," Cuomo said at a press conference Thursday, joined by federal bailout cop Neil Barofsky, whose office aided in the investigation. "I believe that Bank of America officials exploited this fear."
Bank of America's last-minute decision to purchase the ailing Merrill in September 2008 has remained a central issue in the wake of the financial crisis, prompting both federal and state probes into the matter.
Cuomo's office, which has been aggressively pursuing an investigation into the merger and subsequent bonuses paid to former Merrill employees, said it was charging Lewis and Bank of America's former chief financial officer Joe Price with fraud.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
The depression of the 30s was engineered to re-consolidate banking power in the hands of a few, and it looks increasingly like this one is the same.
Cuomo is doing the type of work that we need done. The Clinton and Bush justice departments were a damned sad joke on the issue of securities and other forms of financial fraud.
Fraud charges here...asset seizures over there in Italy...
you are joking right?
This current Administration defrauded the voters and the taxpayers at a very difficult and sensitive time.
I thought the feds engineered that purchase . . .
Lewis is being made a scapegoat. In the dark days of Fall 2008, Paulson and Geithner were scrambling to find commercial bank partners for tottering investment banks like Merrill Lynch and Lehman. BoA stepped up to buy Merrill. When Lewis was informed of worsening Merrill Lynch losses in late 2008 and told regulators he wanted to back out, they basically blackmailed him to go forward with the deal. Cuomo is just grandstanding, as he usually does. If Geithner, Paulson, and Bernanke have any character they will tell Cuomo to back off.
Exactly - if they indict Ken Lewis - they should also indict the three stooges. And - add Bawney and Dud into the indictment as they put up the road blocks to the reform the Bush administration had asked for.
Wrong. This is nothing but showboating by Cuomo and part of a overall land grab and punishment by the same folks who brought you Obama. Don’t forgot that Ken Lewis crossed the administration when he testified before Congress last year. This is payback.
There is nothing conservative about falling for populist ploys. PT Barnum had a word for people who do.
Your point is well taken, will concede the intellectual high ground to you on this. I did say the indictment was politically motivated.
Are they going to charge the Federal government with aiding and abetting, collusion?
When the great bank, Bank of America, sold their reputation to Nations bank. they didn’t keep the name Nations because of Nations awful Rep.
Now they have destroyed the rep of the old B of A.
This makes me sick. Jerks.
“There is nothing conservative about falling for populist ploys. PT Barnum had a word for people who do”
I tend to agree and will wait on further developments and information. Don’t count on the press to give this a fair coverage. It may take some time before we know the truth.
Note to self: Lay down with dogs and get fleas.
The feds blackmailed Lewis to do this...he is being scapegoated...
“I hope Cuomo and other LEO’s start at the bottom and chew their way up the whole systemically corrupt pyramid.”
Fat chance of that happening. Show trials only, I’m afraid. No touching the political corruption with a politican running the show trials.
More likely just a form of free campaign advertising for Cuomo. If you seriously think he’s interested in law enforcement, think again. He’s interested in becoming governor of New York.