The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to charge Bank of America
The new charges, contained in a court filing on Monday, would be in addition to those accusing Bank of America of misleading shareholders about billions of dollars in bonuses paid to Merrill employees.
The SEC has asked a federal judge in New York for permission to amend its pending complaint against the bank to include the new charges.
According to the filing, the amended complaint alleges that Bank of America learned prior to the December 2008 shareholder vote that Merrill had experienced a net loss of $4.5 billion in October and estimated that it had experienced billions of dollars of losses in November.
According to the proposed complaint, the SEC would allege that the bank kept shareholders in the dark as they were asked to vote on the proposed merger.
A spokesman for Bank of America said: We believe the new claims the SEC seeks to bring are without merit.
Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff rejected a $33 million accord between the SEC and Bank of America to settle the allegations that the bank misled investors over the Merrill bonuses. Rakoff was upset that a settlement did not require disclosures of names of individual executives and lawyers who approved the bonuses.
Bank of America shares were up 1.1 percent to $16.96 in late afternoon trade on Monday.
(Reporting by Elinor Comlay in New York and Rachelle Younglai in Washington; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)