Bank of America's top executives neglected to tell shareholders about the losses at Merrill Lynch before completing the $50 billion purchase of the company in 2008. Shareholders were instead told of projections showing the deal would make money, when in fact it prompted the $20 billion taxpayer bailout. This information was revealed through documents filed Sunday night for a Bank of America shareholder lawsuit, which includes testimony from then-Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis, admitting that the documents filed with regulators and shareholders before the acquisition vote didn't include the loss estimates he had previously received. At the bank board's next meeting just days after the decision, they were given news that there had been a $14 billion pre-tax loss in the fourth quarter.
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