The Securities and Exchange Commission is keeping a close eye on Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) Wikileaks dilemma to determine whether anything that the info-leaking website might release should have already been turned over to regulators who have conducted numerous investigations into the bank’s activities, FOX Business Network has learned.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who has stirred up controversy releasing confidential documents and emails on government activities, has recently stated that he has a large batch of confidential documents that could lead to problems for a major bank, and in at least one interview he has identified that bank to be BofA.
People at Bank of America are treating the possibility of a Wikileak document dump seriously; as first reported by FOX Business, the nation’s largest bank has set up a war room and assembled a S.W.A.T. team of lawyers and company officials to deal with the matter if it should arise.
The SEC, Wall Street’s top cop, is treating the matter seriously as well, FOX Business has learned. If and when the document dump occurs, senior SEC officials will be examining the material to determine if BofA failed to include the emails and other documents in demands for information the commission has made as part of its many investigations into BofA activities.
Bank of America has been the subject of several high-profile probes by the commission, including issues surrounding its CountryWide Financial subsidiary, and its ill-fated purchase of Merrill Lynch during the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008.
CountryWide, which was the largest issuer of so-called subprime mortgages, has been accused of issuing mortgages to people with little if any documentation of work history or means to repay the loans.
An SEC spokesman and a BofA spokesman had no immediate comment.
If BofA purposely failed to turn over documents involving an investigation, the bank could face possible criminal charges of obstructing justice. So far, BofA has said that despite all the talk about it being a target, it has no evidence that Assange’s organization has documents involving the bank.