This is insane:
Federal regulators accused Maurice R. Greenberg, the former chief executive of the beleaguered American International Group, on Thursday of overseeing deals that fraudulently overstated A.I.G.’s financial position, charges that came after a four-year investigation.
Mr. Greenberg, 84, will pay $15 million to settle the suit, an agreement that was announced simultaneously as the government described the charges against him. A former chief financial officer at A.I.G., Howard I. Smith, will pay $1.5 million to settle similar accusations.
The civil fraud charges predate the recent financial cataclysm at A.I.G., which has received $180 billion in government bailout money and is now 80 percent government-owned. Regulators said the fraud stemmed from fake reinsurance transactions, efforts to mask losses by using offshore shell entities and other transactions that seemed to bolster A.I.G.’s reserves and gains from investment income.
Guys like Greenberg blow through 15 million by lunch. This is the equivalent of making someone sit in the corner for five minutes for confessing to multiple murders. Anyone else remember this:
A homeless man robbed a Louisiana bank and took a $100 bill. After feeling remorseful, he surrendered to police the next day. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
Roy Brown, 54, robbed the Capital One bank in Shreveport, Louisiana in December 2007. He approached the teller with one of his hands under his jacket and told her that it was a robbery.
Break out the foam fingers, folks! All together now! USA! USA! USA! USA!
Well sure, but he was homeless. So he’ll be better off in prison.
And besides, he could have easily gotten off if he’d been ready to spend several million dollars on high powered lawyers.
C Nelson Reilly
Too big to fail! Too legit to quit!
The lesson is: if you commit a crime, it’s no big deal.
Oh, I know that only applies to rich people but hey I think the rest of us should be able to enjoy the same rights they do.
After all, what’s my incentive to play by the rules? I only get fucked when I do.
US… Oh, you already got that.
America, where exactly twice the choices in parties as they have in Cuba is always the right number.
We can presume the masses won’t do anything when the next 30% drop in their 401k’s hit.
The lesson is if you’re going to steal, go big or go home. Which is really hard to do when you don’t have a home.
This guy should be Bernie’s roommate.
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges and stealing bread.
Robbing banks, however, is another story. If you are already so rich that you have more money than a person could ever spend in a lifetime, then it’s totally OK.
Mr. Brown sounds like one of those “Lucky Duckies”.
He should be grateful, because if you think about it, he’s no longer homeless. And now our tax dollars are giving him a roof over his head, 3 squares a day, free health care, and COLOR TV!
This kind of thing just makes ill.
Justice may be blind, but she knows where the money is.
A fine American mess, our justice system is.
Greenberg took $4.3B in stock at the same time he was inflating it.
Imagine how much worse AIG’s failure would have been if Spitzer hadn’t forced this guy out in 2005.
Well doh! That’s because you can smell the money. Lady justice needs to be fitted with a set of nostril plugs to go with that blindfold. Better yet, get her a full set of Jose Padilla sensory deprivation gear.
Read carefully, class. This deal resolves only the SEC’s civil enforcement action. Do you see any words like “plea bargain” or “deferred prosecution agreement?”
Neither do I.
Ain’t over yet.
I clicked the link just to see if I was right in my suspicion of Mr. Brown’s skin color–wanted to see if things had changed much since I left Louisiana 10 years ago. Nope.
Yeah, but we’re still number 1:
Read the first comment for a dirty little secret.
as the song goes…
don’t use the rules
they’re not for you
they’re for the fools
and you’re a fool if you don’t know that
so use the rules you stupid fool
No, you don’t fully understand poor Hank’s situation. IIRC, the sad bastard’s personal net worth dropped from some number of billions to about 160 million as a result of the AIG mess. Because the business genius didn’t have the good sense to diversify.
So we should all feel badly for Hank, right? What? No? Right
then. Never mind.
Many times the maximum fines these agencies can impose are limited by law. Many times, those laws were written many years ago, and the fines are never updated or indexed for inflation. The SEC dates from the ’30s I believe. The fact that the SEC can only sue in civil court itself is because it has never been given any power to bring a criminal action.
Justice may be blind, but she can smell money.
Comrade Michael "You Probably Can't Come" Brown
Ish Reed wrote that in the 1970s, it’s still true, and you can still buy the book. Only difference is that now, with sons of bitches like Hank Greenburg, you need not even have style.
Even William Jefferson only is supposed to get a max of 20 yrs and he ripped off thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. 15 yrs for $100? And he turned himself in? WTF.