First to go was Charles Bryceland, who used to run the bank's brokerage and private-banking office that catered to wealthy New York clients. He was one of four Bank of America employees identified in a broad investigation into mutual-fund trading, led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
"I didn't do anything illegal," Bryceland said Wednesday.
The bank wouldn't comment on any dismissals but the Wall Street Journal said Thursday the move indicates Chairman Kenneth Lewis is determined to keep his pledge to move swiftly to look into the allegations.
Spitzer alleges a New Jersey hedge fund, Canary Capital Partners LLC, and its manager, Edward Stern, worked with Bank of America and other mutual-fund companies to pursue alleged improper mutual-fund trading strategies. At Bank of America, Stern was courted by a "high-net-worth" broker, Theodore Sihpol, who reported to Bryceland.