A class action case against AIG and certain individual directors and officers came to an end with a $725 million settlement, according to Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. The settlement resolves allegations of AIG’s wide-ranging fraud from October 1999 to April 2005 involving anti-competitive market division, accounting violations and stock price manipulation.
As part of the total case involving AIG, the Ohio Funds and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office previously announced a $72 million settlement with General Reinsurance Corp., a $97.5 million settlement with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and a $115 million settlement with CEO Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg and other AIG executives (Howard I. Smith, Christian M. Milton and Michael J. Castelli) and related corporate entities (C.V. Starr & Co., Inc. and Starr International Co. Inc.).
The case involved three types of claims:
• AIG engaged in accounting fraud, culminating in a $3.9 billion restatement in May 2005 that included numerous different types of transactions, including allegations relating to a $500 million no-risk fraudulent reinsurance transaction that AIG entered into with General Reinsurance Corp. in order to artificially boost AIG's reported claims reserves. One AIG executive and four Gen Re executives were found guilty of securities fraud in relation to that transaction.
• AIG paid tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed contingent commissions to insurance brokers and participated in a bid-rigging scheme with insurance brokers and certain insurance companies in order to divide the market for certain types of insurance.
• AIG engaged in straightforward stock price manipulation, in which company executives ordered company traders to inflate AIG stock price.
Taken together, recovery for AIG shareholders in this case is expected to be $1.0095 billion, Cordray says. It is the tenth-largest securities class action settlement in U.S. history, and the first and only billion-dollar class action settlement since the financial crisis began to unfold in 2008.
In other AIG news, numerous media outlets report that AIG soon will announce Mark Tucker as head of its AIA Group Ltd. unit. The Wall Street Journal says Tucker, the former chief executive of U.K. insurer Prudential PLC, will replace AIA's current chief, Mark Wilson, who will stay on to assist with the transition until the end of the year.
Reuters reports that Tucker had left Prudential in 2004 to join HBOS Plc as finance director. But returned as Prudential's CEO in 2005 and stayed in that role until 2009, when he quit the group. Before he left Tucker had negotiated for the company to buy AIA.
Prudential announced in March that it had agreed to pay about $35 billion for AIA, but shareholders resisted. In June, Prudential called off the deal.
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