Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Aug 3, 2009.
LOL !!!!!! Hilarious !!!!
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged Bank of America with making "materially false and misleading statements" in connection with its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, according to a Reuters report. Bank of America had agreed to pay up to $5.58 billion in bonuses to Merrill Lynch executives as part of the deal, the reports said
Unless Im reading this wrong, the SEC is suing so they pay Merrill execs more. I am astonished at the corruption. Of all the things for the Sec to be doing.
They are stealing this bank btw. A bank built by southerners controlled by southerners. They have taken control away, tossing out the board and soon the ceo. I wouldn't be surprised if some ex GS is running it soon. In broad daylight without a care in the world. Soon headquarters will be moved from Charlotte to NY.
Welcome to Fraudmerica.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Bank of America Corp. agreed to a $33 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said the mega-bank made "materially false and misleading statements" to shareholders about billions in bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch executives before completing its controversial acquisition of the brokerage firm.
"The SEC alleges that in proxy materials soliciting the votes of shareholders on the proposed acquisition of Merrill, Bank of America stated that Merrill had agreed that it would not pay year-end performance bonuses or other discretionary compensation to its executives prior to the closing of the merger without Bank of America's consent," the SEC wrote.
"In fact, Bank of America had already contractually authorized Merrill to pay up to $5.8 billion in discretionary bonuses to Merrill executives for 2008."
According to the SEC's complaint, Bank of America /quotes/comstock/13*!bac/quotes/nls/bac (BAC 15.32, +0.53, +3.58%) said in a November, 2008, joint proxy statement for the acquisition that Merrill said it would not pay year-end bonuses to top executives before closing without Bank of America's consent.
"The disclosures in the proxy statement were rendered materially false and misleading by the existence of the prior undisclosed agreement allowing Merrill to pay billions of dollars in bonuses for 2008," the SEC said.
The SEC charges come after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Bank of America Chief Executive Ken Lewis and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have received a barrage of criticism from lawmakers over the past couple months.
Paulson and Bernanke have recently responded to a wide-variety of concerns expressed by lawmakers, ranging from criticism that they ordered Bank of America Chief Executive Ken Lewis to go through with the Merrill Lynch acquisition against his will, to questions why they didn't oust the bank's management and board upon providing government assistance.
Washington, D.C., Aug. 3, 2009 â The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Bank of America Corporation for misleading investors about billions of dollars in bonuses that were being paid to Merrill Lynch & Co. executives at the time of its acquisition of the firm. Bank of America agreed to settle the SEC's charges and pay a penalty of $33 million.
The SEC alleges that in proxy materials soliciting the votes of shareholders on the proposed acquisition of Merrill, Bank of America stated that Merrill had agreed that it would not pay year-end performance bonuses or other discretionary compensation to its executives prior to the closing of the merger without Bank of America's consent. In fact, Bank of America had already contractually authorized Merrill to pay up to $5.8 billion in discretionary bonuses to Merrill executives for 2008. According to the SEC's complaint, the disclosures in the proxy statement were rendered materially false and misleading by the existence of the prior undisclosed agreement allowing Merrill to pay billions of dollars in bonuses for 2008.
"Companies must give shareholders all material information about corporate transactions they are asked to approve," said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "Failing to disclose that a struggling company will pay out billions of dollars in performance bonuses obviously violates that duty and warrants the significant financial penalty imposed by today's settlement."
David Rosenfeld, Associate Director of the SEC's New York Regional Office, said, "As Merrill was on the brink of bankruptcy and posting record losses, Bank of America agreed to allow Merrill to pay its executives billions of dollars in bonuses. Shareholders were not told about this agreement at the time they voted on the merger."
The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Bank of America represented in the merger agreement that Merrill had agreed not to pay any bonuses to its executives before the merger closed, except as set forth in a schedule. Unbeknownst to shareholders, the schedule was already in place weeks before the proxy statement was filed with the SEC and disseminated to shareholders. Under the schedule, Bank of America had agreed that Merrill could pay up to $5.8 billion, or nearly 12 percent of the $50 billion merger consideration, in discretionary bonuses to its executives. The merger agreement was included as an appendix and summarized in the joint proxy statement that was distributed to all 283,000 shareholders of both companies. But Bank of America's agreement to allow Merrill to pay these discretionary bonuses was in a separate document that was omitted from the proxy statement and whose contents were never disclosed before the shareholders' vote on the merger.
In settling the SEC's charges without admitting or denying the allegations, Bank of America consented to the entry of a judgment that permanently enjoins Bank of America from violating the proxy solicitation rules â Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 14a-9 â and orders Bank of America to pay the financial penalty. The settlement is subject to court approval.
The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Offices for the Southern District of New York and the Western District of North Carolina, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
The SEC's investigation is ongoing.
# # #
For more information, contact:
Associate Director, SEC's New York Regional Office
George N. Stepaniuk
Assistant Director, SEC's New York Regional Office
Maureen F. Lewis
Branch Chief, SEC's New York Regional Office
33 million USD ? LOL ! What a joke ! So that's the price to mislead investors ? Who' s the best civil action lawyer in NYC ?
Ok I did read it wrong it. Maybe I toss some blame on Marketwatch and their first few updates. But... no I'm sure it was just me lol.
So WHO the HELL is lying???
Lewis at BofA?
Thain when he was at Merrill?
With this SEC "payment" it looks like Lewis was not being truthful, either???
What a game of thieves!
One word: FRAUD.
Welcome to "Fraudmerica".
A developing nation....
All of the above??
It's only $33million because they admitted no wrongdoing. And why should the fine be big if ya done no wrong??
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