Yesterday Andrew Cuomo took the unusual step of issuing subpoenas to five current and former directors of Bak of America as part of his continuing inquiry into its hastily arranged takeover of Merrill. Cuomo has been trying to determine what executives and directors of the bank knew about bonus payments and massive losses at Merrill.
The New York Times this morning reports on which directors got subpoenas:
- William Barnet III, a real estate executive and the mayor of Spartanburg, S.C.;
- John T. Collins, a venture capital investor based in Boston;
- Tommy R. Franks, the retired four-star Army general;
- Walter E. Massey, the former president of Morehouse College in Atlanta;
- and Thomas J. May, head of the Boston utility company NSTAR.
It is very rare rare for prosecutors to subpoena baord members in a criminal case. The directors will now face legal peril if they fail to tell the full truth to Cuomo’s investigation. The Times notes that the subpoenas are “an indication that board members may not be immune to charges in cases where executives they oversee are prosecuted.”