Federal Judge Jed Rakoff raised question about the treatment of Bank of America by the Securities and Exchange Commission in bringing charges of misleading investors in the bank's acquisition of Merrill Lynch. In a hearing to approve a settlement, the judge asked why the SEC had not taken a hard line similar to the one the New York Attorney General's office took in filing its own charges against Bank of America. An attorney for the SEC said the regulator went with the most provable case.

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