Maui County sues Merrill Lynch over access to $32 million in securities
HONOLULU — Maui County has sued Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. over access to $32 million invested in student loan auction rate securities.
The county said Wednesday that Merrill Lynch sold it the securities with the understanding they were safe, short-term, liquid investments.
Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares says the county was told the investments could be easily accessed, just like cash. She says assurances by Merrill Lynch at the time of the investment turned out to be false.
A call seeking comment from a Merrill Lynch spokesman wasn’t immediately returned.
County officials say about $44 million in the securities were purchased through Merrill Lynch. They say today, the county owns $32 million of the securities that are not liquid.