Cuomo demands names of AIG bonus recipients
New York Atty. Gen. Andrew M. Cuomo has given American International Group until 4 p.m. EDT today to tell him which employees at the company's financial products unit are getting retention bonus payments -- and which executives negotiated those contracts.
In a letter to AIG Chief Executive Edward Liddy, Cuomo says he has been investigating the insurance giant’s compensation arrangements since the company’s near-collapse last fall, and says he finds it "surprising that you have yet to provide this information."
Over the weekend, the revelation of AIG's plan to pay $165 million in bonuses to employees -- part of a larger pool of payments aimed at retaining staff -- fueled a new firestorm over the federal government's ongoing bailout of the company.
From Cuomo's letter:
In addition, we also now request a description of each individual’s job description and performance at AIG Financial Products. Please also provide whatever contracts you now claim obligate you to make these payments.
Moreover, you should immediately provide us with a list of who negotiated these contracts and who developed this retention plan so we can begin to investigate the circumstances surrounding these questionable bonus arrangements.
We need this information immediately in order to investigate and determine: 1) whether any of the individuals receiving such payments were involved in the conduct that led to AIG’s demise and subsequent bailout; 2) whether, as you claim, such individuals are truly required to unwind AIG Financial Product’s positions; 3) whether such contracts may be unenforceable for fraud or other reasons; and 4) whether any of the retention payments may be considered fraudulent conveyances under New York law.
If he doesn’t get the information he wants, Cuomo said, "we will issue subpoenas and seek, if necessary, to enforce compliance in court."
An AIG spokesperson told Bloomberg News that "we are in contact with the attorney general and, of course, will respond to his request."
-- Tom Petruno
Photo: New York Atty. Gen. Andrew M. Cuomo. Credit: Craig Ruttle / Associated Press