Special Investigative Unit Should Be Formed To Control AIG's Bonuses

Consumer advocates said that federal law enforcement agencies should create a special investigative unit dedicated to unearthing any fraud or misconduct attributable to AIG employees paid bonuses since taxpayers bailed out the company. The nonpartisan, nonprofit Consumer Watchdog said that

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Consumer advocates said that federal law enforcement agencies should create a special investigative unit dedicated to unearthing any fraud or misconduct attributable to AIG employees paid bonuses since taxpayers bailed out the company.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Consumer Watchdog said that AIG executives and employees who claim a “contractual right” to a bonus should be subject to the strictest scrutiny by the FBI and Department of Justice.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Treasury Secretary Geithner “agreed that the employees might win punitive damages if their contracts were broken.”

“Anybody at AIG who wants to collect a bonus should be alerted that it will be delivered by an FBI agent along with a long list of questions,” says Jamie Court, president, Consumer Watchdog. “American taxpayers saved every one of these jobs last fall, at unprecedented public expense, so the fact that anyone at AIG even has the nerve to ask for their bonus is galling.”

“As the owners of AIG, American taxpayers have a right – and the government has an obligation – to demand that not a dime of bonus money is paid to anyone who broke the law, defrauded a shareholder or, and this is key, can be tied to the disastrous collapse of AIG that led to the bailout,” says Doug Heller, executive director, Consumer Watchdog.

“If these executives and traders are willing to sue to protect their bonus, then they better be sure their record is squeaky clean.”

L.D.

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