Lewis Said to Testify Tomorrow in Cuomo Merrill Probe
Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis will testify tomorrow in New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's probe of $3.6 billion in bonuses paid at Merrill Lynch & Co. just before it merged with the bank, a person familiar with the matter said, Bloomberg reported.
Lewis, asked on Bloomberg Television today about testifying tomorrow, said, "I look forward to the chance to speak candidly and forthrightly and honestly and tell the story." Lewis didn't say when he would be giving his deposition testimony.
After former Merrill Chief Executive Officer John Thain said Feb. 19 that he couldn't name the bonus recipients, Cuomo went to court to compel him to do so. Thain testified again yesterday for 2 1/2 hours, said his attorney, Andrew Levander. Levander previously said Thain would answer the attorney general's questions.
Cuomo has been examining whether Merrill broke securities laws when it paid the bonuses. He is cooperating with U.S. Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky in a federal probe of executive pay at banks that received money from the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Assets Relief Program. Merrill and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America have received about $45 billion in TARP money. The bank completed its acquisition of Merrill on Jan. 1.
Thain, when questioned Feb. 19 by Cuomo's office, wouldn't identify individual bonus recipients, citing orders from Bank of America that he keep such information confidential.