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Bank of America Sues Former Owners

February 11, 2002

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Bank of America Corp. sued the former owners of a Brazilian bank on Monday, accusing them of embezzlement and scheming to deceive the American bank into paying too much for its stock.

The nation’s third-largest bank, based in Charlotte, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan against Antonio Carlos Braga Lemgruber, Aldo Floris, Lauro Alberto De Luca and several corporate entities in Brazil and other countries.

According to court documents, after Bank of America took full control of Banco Liberal and Liberal Banking Corp. last April, it was discovered that Lemgruber had used various entities he controlled and inappropriate accounting entries to accumulate about $38 million in illegal overdrafts and loans.

Lemgruber also tried to conceal the embezzlement, the lawsuit charged.

The lawsuit also claims that Lemgruber, Floris and De Luca defrauded Bank of America into paying more for Banco Liberal and Liberal Banking Corp. stock than it was worth when the U.S. bank acquired it in a series of transactions beginning in 2000.

Bank of America said the scheme did not have any harmful effects on the accounts of its customers in Brazil or the rest of the world.

Shares of Bank of America were up 65 cents to close at $61.25 on the New York Stock Exchange Monday.


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