The Merrill Lynch unit of Bank of America Corp. has agreed to pay $728,260 in civil penalties for letting unregistered client associates sell securities in states where they were not permitted to do so, New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow said on Wednesday.

Client associates are sales assistants to one or more financial advisers. Court documents said a Merrill Lynch review found that, since June 30, 2008, it had 3,780 registered client associates, about 2,200 of whom were registered only in their home state or their home state plus another.

In response to the settlement, a Merrill representative said in a phone interview that it completed a deal reached last September. He declined to comment further.

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