Spitzer Issues Subpoena To Hartford Insurer

By Reuters
September 17, 2005

The Hartford Financial Services Group said yesterday that it had received a subpoena from the New York attorney general's office requesting information relating to purchases of or exchanges into its variable annuity products.

The attorney general's office also requested information about issues relating to the reporting of workers' compensation premiums.

In the last year, the insurer has disclosed that it received several subpoenas and information requests from state and federal regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, related to insurance, annuities and mutual funds.

The subpoena yesterday was the insurer's fourth from the New York attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, since December.

Hartford has also received a subpoena related to group annuity products from Connecticut's attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, and subpoenas from the attorneys general of California and Florida relating to its insurance broker compensation practices.

Variable annuities are contracts offered by insurance companies that provide income, typically after the purchaser retires from the work force. The investment options for a variable annuity usually include mutual funds that invest in stocks, bonds, and money market instruments or some combination of the three.

Numerous insurance companies and the brokerage firms that guide customers to them have been subpoenaed by several states in an investigation of suspected bid-rigging and other misdeeds.

Hartford said it was cooperating fully with all requests.

Copyright © 2005 by Reuters

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