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AIG to Pay $725M to Settle Class Action Investor Suit

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By Jason Beahm on July 21, 2010 7:02 AM

Pardon me friend, can you spare $725 million? It sounds like an insane question, but the answer in this case is a resounding yes. It always helps when the government already gave you $182 billion (for an 80% stake in the company). Yes, we're talking about AIG.

American International Group Inc. and several company officers and directors have agreed to pay $725 million to settle fraud claims made in a class action investor suit. The settlement will still require final approval from the court. AIG was accused of anti-competitive practices, accounting violations, and manipulating stock prices. The case, led by three Ohio pension funds, brings the total AIG settlement to about $1.7 billion. AIG previously settled with shareholders for $1 billion.

AIG was accused of a host of violations of the law, including $3.9 billion in fraud, bid-rigging, stock price manipulation and more.

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray characterized the AIG settlement as the 10th largest securities litigation settlement in U.S. history. Cordray, who had spent considerable time and energy on the case, championed AIG's decision to settle class action lawsuit claims as a victory for those who were wronged by AIG. "This historic settlement is an excellent result for all shareholders harmed by AIG's misconduct," said Cordray, who represented the pension funds. "Ohio is determined to send a strong message to the marketplace that companies who don't play by the rules will pay a steep price."

AIG focused on moving forward. "This settlement ends a long-standing lawsuit, allowing AIG to continue to focus its efforts on paying back taxpayers and restoring the value of our franchise for the benefit of all our stakeholders," it said.

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