Bank of America, Ex-CEO Ken Lewis fined $25 million by New York State for role in Merrill deal

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Bank of America and its former CEO Ken Lewis have reached a $25 million deal to settle allegations that Lewis and his executive team misled investors about the impact of BofA’s 2008 merger with Merrill Lynch.

The settlement, announced by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, also bars Lewis from serving as an officer or director of any public company for three years.

BofA bought Merrill in September 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. BofA was seen as a saviour of Merrill, which would have likely filed for bankruptcy. But by the time the deal was finalized in January 2009, Merrill’s balance sheet had deteriorated to the point that BofA needed government help to keep from failing.