Quoting to an unnamed source, The Charlotte Observer points out that the latest agencies joining the Bank of America/Merrill Bonus SNAFU are the Justice Department and the FBI. In related unconfirmed rumor/speculation, Ambien sales at pharmacies around Ken Lewis' current house(es) go through the roof.
According to the article:
The criminal investigation has been underway for about six months, the source said. The probe means an additional layer of scrutiny for the Charlotte-based bank, which bought Merrill on Jan. 1.
The previously disclosed investigations of the bank have appeared to largely involve civil matters that could lead to financial or regulatory penalties against the bank, or fines against some of its leaders.
The FBI involvement opens up the possibility of criminal charges, although the scope and possible outcome of the probe remain unclear.
Bank of America spokesman Jim Mahoney declined to confirm whether the FBI or Justice Department were investigating the bank, but he said there are "various government agencies that are continuing to look at the issues associated with Merrill Lynch." He said the agencies extend beyond the SEC and the New York and N.C. attorneys general.
"We continue to believe that no action is imminent nor that there is any basis for any action," Mahoney said of the investigations.
Looks like the SEC will have a tough time getting off the hook on this one. But at least REM sleep at Hank's and the Chairman's abodes will proceed without interruption.