U.S. preparing civil charges against Citigroup, Merrill Lynch: sources

(Reuters) – The Justice Department is preparing to file civil fraud charges against Citigroup Inc and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit over their sale of flawed mortgage securities ahead of the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the probes. Civil investigators have compiled evidence that allegedly shows that investors lost tens of billions of dollars after purchasing securities Citigroup had marketed as safe even though the bank had reason to believe otherwise, one person said. An investigation into the mortgage securities marketed by Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America agreed to acquire at the height of the crisis in 2008, is also close to completion, two other people said.

    

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