In a brief filed Monday in federal appeals court, 30 states said that a number of investment banks are liable for their alleged role in Enron Corp.’s accounting fraud.

Authored by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, attorneys general from the states used legal arguments from 2002 Enron litigation brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the brief to make the case that Merrill Lynch & Co., Credit Suisse and other investment banks should be held liable as participants in the fraud. The suit seeks billions of dollars in damages.

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