New York’s top legal officer complained to the state’s top court on Friday that Bank of America is continuing to block his probe in to bonus compensation at the bank’s newly acquired Merrill Lynch division.
Cuomo is seeking a list of recipients of multi-million dollar bonuses awarded by Merrill Lynch. He claims large bonuses were “secretly and prematurely” awarded in December with Bank of America’s “apparent complicity.”
“We respectfully request that the court reject Bank of America’s continued efforts to stymie the attorney general’s investigation,” Cuomo wrote in the letter to New York Supreme Court judge Bernard J. Fried.
Cuomo’s investigation first began with former Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain. The executive answered some questions Cuomo’s office had about bonuses. However Thain said Bank of America’s attorneys were prohibiting him from addressing the bonuses of certain individuals.
Cuomo’s office has subpoenaed additional executives.
However on Thursday, Bank of America requested that the judge on the case expand a temporary confidentially agreement beyond Thain to all addition Cuomo witnesses.
Bank of America said it was trying to keep the information private.
“Bank of America does not believe the attorney general needs the freedom to place private, personal information in the news media in order conduct his investigation,” BofA spokesman Scott Silvestri told Bloomberg.
The Attorney General says that to accommodate Bank of America’s concerns he had reached a confidentiality agreement with former Merrill President Gregory Fleming.