Merrill Lynch settled SEC claims for $415 million back in 2016. At that time, what was unusual was the fact that the bank actually admitted wrongdoing. Most settlements include a less-than-persuasive denial. According to the media reports at the time, individuals in Bank of America’s brokerage arm—Merrill Lynch—used customer cash for proprietary trading activity and, worse yet, that cash should have been held in the bank’s reserve accounts. The scheme lasted almost three years, but was eventually reported to the SEC by three Merrill Lynch executives.
Cosgrove Law Group represents SEC whistleblowers. Unfortunately, it did not represent the three executives in this matter. Less than two years after the settlement, the three executives were awarded more than $83 million. And it appears that their identities remain confidential to this day. Food for thought.