Tuesday, March 17, 2009

73 AIG Bonuses Hit Million-Dollar Mark

Just months after getting bailed out by American taxpayers, AIG has once again made headlines by giving out millions of dollars in bonuses to their executives, many of which are no longer working for the company. CBSnews.com has posted an interesting article on the outrage sparked by these huge bonuses, and what President Obama and Congress are planning to do about it. Check out a portion of the article below.

Troubled insurance giant American International Group paid bonuses of $1 million or more to 73 employees, including 11 who no longer work for the company, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Cuomo subpoenaed information from AIG on Monday to determine whether the payments made over the past weekend constitute fraud under state law. He says contracts written in March 2008 guaranteed employees 100 percent of their 2007 pay for 2008, regardless of their performance.

President Barack Obama and Washington lawmakers have blasted AIG for paying more than $160 million in bonuses to employees of its Financial Products division, the unit primarily responsible for the meltdown that led to a federal bailout of the company, while the company has received billions in taxpayer bailout funds.

Cuomo said AIG mailed the bonus checks Friday.

The company and some federal regulators have said it was obligated by contract to make the payments. Cuomo said the bonuses might have been fraudulent if AIG officials knew the company couldn't afford them.

"You could argue if the taxpayers didn't bail out AIG, those contracts wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on," he said Monday.

There was no immediate AIG comment following Cuomo's disclosure Tuesday of the bonus amounts. Cuomo did not release the names of the recipients.

AIG spokeswoman Christina Pretto had said Monday the company was in contact with Cuomo's office and would respond to his requests for information and the subpoena.

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