By Joseph A. Giannone and Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo plans to imminently charge Citigroup Inc, accusing it of fraudulently marketing and selling auction-rate securities, and destroying documents that had been subpoenaed.
In a letter on Friday to the largest U.S. bank by assets, David Markowitz, chief of the state's investor protection bureau, accused Citigroup of having "repeatedly and persistently committed fraud" by falsely representing to customers that auction-rate debt was safe, liquid and the equivalent of cash.
He also charged that Citigroup destroyed audiotapes of phone calls on auction-rate debt that were subject to a April 14 subpoena. The New York-based bank learned in mid-June about the destruction, but failed to tell Cuomo's office until June 30, the letter said.