Bank of America agreed on Monday to pay $33 million for charges of allegedly misleading investors about billions in bonuses it agreed to pay Merrill Lynch & Co. executives when it was on the verge of acquiring Merrill for $50 billion in a 2008 merger.

The payment settles a civil suit filed in the Southern District of New York by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC charged that proxy materials sent to Bank of America shareholders on the proposed acquisition stated that Merrill Lynch had agreed not to pay performance bonuses and other compensation to executives prior to the closing of the merger when, in fact, Bank of America had already contractually authorized Merrill Lynch to pay up to $5.8 billion.

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