Merrill Paid $3.6B In Bonuses Before Merger: Cuomo

Law360, New York (February 11, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. awarded $3.6 billion in bonuses just before Bank of America Corp. bought the firm with the help of federal bailout money, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

In a letter to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, Cuomo said that his investigation of Merrill Lynch's 2008 bonuses revealed that the investment bank paid out bonuses ahead of schedule, before announcing its disastrous $15.3 billion fourth-quarter losses.

Some of the bonuses awarded to individual...
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