Bank of America is facing at least three civil lawsuits concerning how the bank disclosed (or didn’t) the amount of toxic securities Merrill Lynch was holding when Bank of America acquired it during the financial crises.
And according to the Wall Street Journal, that means Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is going to be deposed. A lot. He has a $19.4 billion acquisition to answer for, after all.
He won’t be alone either. Former Merrill Lynch CEO Ken Lewis will also be deposed, though he will not be under the same time constraints as Moynihan. Bank of America’s lawyers have asked that their CEO only sit for one deposition a day and that questions relate only to the lawsuit.
But that could be a lot of things.
Think: This what Richard Cordray sued the bank for back in 2009, when he recovered $475 million for the state of Ohio. Yes, these are different lawsuits (two based in the Southern District of New York, and another based in Delaware) but there is significant legal precedent here.
That means that anything having to do with Merrill’s horrible assets, and/or the bonuses that were handed out to bankers despite the firm’s collapse, are up for grabs.
Other bank CEOs, such as J.P. Morgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon, also have given depositions since the 2008 financial crisis. But it still is unusual for a sitting CEO to provide such testimony unless that executive has “unique personal knowledge” about the events at issue, said Jill Goldsmith, a Phoenix attorney who represents corporations in civil litigation