The former top executive of embattled insurance giant AIG, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, agreed to pay 15 million dollars to settle accounting fraud charges, US authorities said Thursday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Greenberg, chairman and chief executive at AIG before its spectacular meltdown, will pay disgorgement and penalties to settle a probe into “numerous improper accounting transactions that inflated AIG’s reported financial results between 2000 and 2005.”
The company’s former chief financial officer Howard Smith meanwhile will pay 1.5 million dollars to settle related charges, the SEC said in a statement.
The SEC said it filed the charges and settlement in US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Greenberg, 84, had led the American International Group for four decades before he was ousted amid an accounting probe in March 2005, ahead of the near collapse of the insurance behemoth during a global financial crisis stemming from a US home mortgage meltdown.
It was taken over by the US government last year in a massive 170-billion-dollar bailout.
The SEC alleged that Greenberg and Smith were responsible for “material misstatements that enabled AIG to create the false impression that the company consistently met or exceeded key earnings and growth targets.”
The SEC had charged AIG in 2006 with securities fraud and improper accounting, and the company had settled the charges by paying disgorgement of 700 million dollars and a penalty of 100 million dollars, among other remedies.
“Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations,” Greenberg and Smith had consented to a judgment directing them to pay the penalties, the SEC said.