LONDON -- Administrators of the late Robert Maxwell's empire are checking on U.S. banks that acted as custodians for Mirror Group Newspapers' pension funds and may consider suing them, Britain's Independent newspaper said on Sunday.

Administrators have discovered that large sums, possibly up to $1.3 billion, are missing from the Mirror pension funds and company coffers.

The newspaper quoted one of the liquidators, Neil Cooper, as saying that if the custodian banks had parted with assets "in a way they should have known was irregular," the administrators would consider their rights against the banks.

It named Bank of America and Morgan Stanley as two of the custodians, but said both had declined to comment.

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