Merrill Lynch & Co traders may have booked hefty losses late last year only after learning of their 2008 bonuses, but executives chose not to revisit their decision to pay out $3.62 billion of bonuses, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.
The allegations were made in filings with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, two days before Justice Bernard Fried is expected to hold a hearing on whether Bank of America can keep the bonus data confidential.
Cuomo is examining whether the bonuses violated securities laws, and whether Bank of America should have disclosed more about Merrill's condition sooner.
Bank of America on January 16 got a federal bailout that included $20 billion of capital from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and a government agreement to share losses on $118 billion of assets, mostly from Merrill. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank has taken $45 billion overall from TARP.
Bank of America has said it would suffer grave harm by revealing bonus data, citing concerns about competitors poaching staff and privacy. It was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)