Bank of America agreed to pay $150 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by two Louisiana state pension funds claiming that Merrill Lynch misled investors about its financial results and artificially inflated the value of its stock in 2007, according to court documents.
The class-action lawsuit includes the $1.4 billion Louisiana Sheriffs’ Pension & Relief Fund and the $1.2 billion Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System, both of Baton Rouge. Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in January.
“Our board feels it’s part of our duty to protect the assets of our members and pursue wrongs that have caused our members money,” Osey “Skip” McGee, executive director of the sheriffs’ plan, said in a telephone interview. “In that regard, we participate in securities litigation.”
Judge Jed S. Rakoff of U.S. District Court in New York has scheduled a final approval hearing on the settlement on Nov. 23.
A Bank of America spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.