AIG Ex-CEO Greenberg Leaves Cuomo's Office After Deposition

By Joel Schectman and Sapna Maheshwari
Bloomberg News
March 11, 2010

March 10 (Bloomberg) -- Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, American International Group Inc.’s former chief executive officer, left the Manhattan offices of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo late today after a scheduled deposition.

Greenberg’s lawyers told a state judge this week that the ex-insurance chief would testify about transactions involving AIG and General Re Corp., the reinsurer owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Asked as he left the building later today if he was glad that the daylong deposition was over, he said, “No, not really.”

The Gen Re transactions from 2000 and 2005 led to the convictions of seven people. Five executives, including former Gen Re Chief Executive Officer Ronald Ferguson, were convicted in 2008 of using a sham transaction in 2000 to help AIG add $500 million in loss reserves. Two others pleaded guilty. Prosecutors at the trial called Greenberg an unindicted co- conspirator.

Greenberg’s lawyer, David Boies, said it was “great to have it over” as he left the building before Greenberg.

“Should’ve been over a long time ago,” said Boies, of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP. Of Greenberg, 84, the lawyer said, “I think he’s tired as anybody even 25 years younger would’ve been after a day this long.” Beth Dozier, a spokeswoman for Greenberg, declined to comment.

Sham Transactions Greenberg and Howard Smith, a former AIG chief financial officer, are accused in the suit of allegedly using sham transactions to hide losses and inflate reserve at the company. Greenberg ran New York-based AIG for 38 years until he was forced to retire in 2005, two months before then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued him.

He said in court papers that he asserted his constitutional right against self-incrimination in pretrial testimony in the fraud lawsuit filed by Spitzer because of the threat of federal prosecution. Cuomo took over the case when he became attorney general in January 2007.

Greenberg gave his first deposition in the case in September 2008. New York State Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos, in Manhattan, granted Greenberg permission on March 8 to re-open his sworn testimony in a lawsuit by Cuomo. Ramos is presiding over the case.

Spitzer dropped portions of the lawsuit against Greenberg in 2006.

The case is New York v. Maurice Greenberg, 401720/2005, New York Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan)

. --With assistance from Patricia Hurtado in New York. Editors: Michael Hytha, Erik Holm.

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