BUSINESS BRIEFING / COURTS

TIMES WIRE REPORTS

A judge has balked at signing off on a $33-million proposed settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bank of America Corp. over bonuses.

The Charlotte, N.C., bank agreed this week to pay the penalty to settle government charges that it misled investors about Merrill Lynch's plans to pay bonuses to its executives.

But the settlement is subject to court approval, and Judge Jed S. Rakoff declined his consent pending results of a hearing Monday.

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