BY JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG AND SUSANNE CRAIG

 

11:23 a.m. | Updated 

Seeking to unload one of its heaviest burdens from the financial crisis, Bank of America announced on Friday that it would pay $2.43 billion to settle litigation that had accused the bank of deceiving investors in the acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

The legal woes from that deal and the bank’s acquisition of the mortgage lenderCountrywide Financial earlier in the financial crisis have dogged Bank of America as it tries to turn itself around.

For a federal securities class action, the size of the Merrill settlement is surpassed only by the those of Enron, WorldCom, Tyco and Cendant settlements, according to Joseph Grundfest, a professor specializing in securities litigation at Stanford University Law School.

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