Former Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis asked a judge to throw out the New York attorney general's lawsuit accusing him of fraud when he led B of A's purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co.

The allegations by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are "implausible," Lewis' lawyers said in documents filed Aug. 18 with the state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The Merrill Lynch acquisition, they said in the answer to Cuomo's complaint, has been proven to be a "major financial benefit to shareholders."

"Some have looked to assign blame for every aspect of the financial crisis, even where there is no evidence of misconduct," Lewis' lawyers said. "This case is a product of that dynamic and does not withstand either legal or factual scrutiny."

Cuomo sued Lewis, Bank of America and former Chief Financial Officer Joe Price in February, charging they misled investors by failing to disclose losses at Merrill Lynch. The complaint also claims they manipulated the federal government into saving the deal with a taxpayer-financed bailout.

In a separate court filing, also on Aug. 18, Bank of America said Cuomo's claims have no legal basis and are barred. Price, who is now Bank of America's head of consumer banking, also asked for a dismissal of the lawsuit.

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