AIG settles bid-rigging allegations

John O'Brien Apr. 7, 2010, 10:56am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - American International Group is paying more than $7 million to Ohio public entities represented in a lawsuit by state Attorney General Richard Cordray.

Cordray announced the settlement Wednesday, adding that almost $2 million will go to three state efforts. AIG denied any wrongdoing in the case, which alleged it conspired with insurance broker Marsh & McLennan to eliminate competitive bidding in the commercial casualty insurance industry.

It is alleged the two conspired to provide fictitious quotes to customers to give the appearance of competitive bidding.

"This scheme caused premiums to go up and ultimately cost Ohio public schools, universities, pension funds and others millions of dollars. While this is a good settlement for Ohio, we're not done," Cordray said.

The biggest beneficiaries of the settlement are Ohio State University, the state Public Employees Retirement System and the city of Cincinnati.

Twenty-three other public entities will receive settlement funds. Also, $805,000 will go to the state's Antitrust Revolving Fund, $850,000 will go to Cordray's office for litigation costs and $100,000 will go to the state Department of Insurance for investigative costs.

Marsh & McLennan has settled lawsuits against it in several states.

Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer earned much notoriety for his bid-rigging investigation before becoming governor, a post he would resign amid a prostitution scandal.

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