Bank of America asked a federal court on Friday to throw out two U.S. government lawsuits accusing the nation's second-largest bank of defrauding investors during the financial crisis.
The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission had accused the bank in lawsuits of fraud in its sale of $850 million of residential mortgage-backed securities.
Such securities fraud cases are usually brought under the securities laws, under which authorities must prove that a defendant intended to break the law. The suits against BofA were filed in August in the bank's Charlotte, N.C., hometown.
But the Justice Department's case, in particular, relied on the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, which the government has turned to in recent years to bring cases against banks over conduct that fueled the financial crisis.