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Merrill Lynch quietly paid out at least one million dollars bonus each to about 700 top executive even when the investment house was bleeding with losses last year, a probe has revealed.
They were part of 3.6 billion dollars in the firm's bonus payments in December before the announcement of its fourth quarterly losses and takeover by Bank of America, the investigation by the New York state Attorney General's office showed.
"696 individuals received bonuses of one million dollars or more," New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said of the Merrill scandal in a letter to a lawmaker heading the House of Representatives financial services committee.