Bank of America Corp. said Wednesday that it reached an agreement in principle to settle an investigation by Massachusetts into the Charlotte company’s sale of auction-rate securities.

The $1.74 trillion-asset company said it will take a $275 million pretax charge tied to the settlement with the Massachusetts Securities Division. B of A said it expects to cover about $4.5 billion in illiquid auction-rate securities held by about 5,500 investors. Last month the company agreed to buy back $43 million in securities held by government agencies in Massachusetts.

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