A judge has put a Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer on the defensive over a settlement resolving civil charges that accused Bank of America of misleading investors when it acquired Merrill Lynch.
Federal Judge Jed Rakoff read aloud at a hearing Monday some of the critical language the New York Attorney General's office used last week in bringing civil charges against the bank. He asked why the SEC didn't see it the same way. An SEC lawyer said the SEC stuck to provable facts.
Rakoff must decide whether to approve the deal to pay shareholders $150 million. Last year, he rejected an earlier $33 million settlement stemming from the early 2009 acquisition.
He indicated he would not immediately decide whether the new deal was fair.
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