AIG Under Scrutiny by Justice Department

03/26/09

According to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, 73 individuals received a bonus of one million or more. In addition, the top bonus recipient received more than $6.4 million, the top seven bonuses equated to $4 million, 22 employees were paid $2 million or more, and 11 recipients, who were no longer employed by AIG, received 'retention' bonuses of one million. These figures were released after Cuomo subpoenaed AIG as part of his office's investigation.

In a news brief, Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that, ''we're working with the Treasury Department to make them aware of what legal abilities they have. We have people in the Justice Department in various divisions who are trying to examine what tools the Treasury Department has in that regard.''

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, ''the Justice Department was looking at whether provisions of the recent economic stimulus bill could be used to recoup the money.''

Holder said that he intends to 'reinvigorate' enforcement against white-collar crime. He plans to accomplish this by hiring more prosecutors and FBI agents 'dedicated to investigating financial fraud.'

Holder maintains that ''the American people have a rightful expectation that this administration and this Justice Department will be examining this financial crisis to see whether or not a component of that has to do with illegal, inappropriate, fraudulent activity.''

Holder acknowledges that government and local agencies should work in conjunction and take a coordinated approach to the problem but he is undecided on whether to form a national financial fraud task force similar to the task force that investigated the wrongdoings of the energy trader, Enron.

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