New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed five Bank of America Corp. board members to testify under oath as part of his investigation into the bank's purchase of Merrill Lynch, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
Cuomo is seeking to discover whether Bank of America directors withheld information from shareholders.
Based on its investigation thus far, Cuomo suspects that the board was kept in the loop on mounting losses at Merrill Lynch in early December, before the shareholder vote Dec. 5 to approve the merger between the two banks, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Cuomo's investigators will ask directors how much they knew about Merrill's losses, and the role they played in decisions about disclosing information to shareholders.
That includes whether the board sought advice from counsel about disclosure issues, said the person. They are also likely to ask board members about pressure by government officials on disclosure issues, as well as whether government officials threatened to remove management and the board if Bank of America didn't proceed with the deal.