Current New York Attorney General —and now governor elect —Andrew Cuomo maybe going after Steve Rattner. Again.
An article in today's New York Time's DealBook allows us all to relive the whole sordid mess of the scandal that brought us here in the first place.
Cuomo's office, it seems, has issued a new subpoena to Rattner's old firm, the private equity fund The Quadrangle Group. The subpoena seeks new information about Rattner's compensation, and the financial terms of his departure from Quadrangle, where he served in the role of managing principal until his resignation in February of 2009.
As you may recall, the original complaint stems from Rattner's alleged role in a kickback scandal centering around New York State pension fund business. Cuomo's continued investigation of Rattner is presumably to gain a stronger hand in his ongoing settlement negotiations with him. Rattner has already rejected a $20 million settlement offer from Cuomo's office. The SEC has reached a separate, tentative deal with Rattner—which calls for Rattner to agree to accept a multiyear ban from the securities industry, and to pay the potentially more palatable sum of $6 million.
The original kickback scandal revolved around the charge that the New York State pension fund was being run as a "pay to play" business—meaning that kickbacks were required in order for financial management firms to get state business from government officials.
The scandal ultimately saw former New York State Controller Alan Hevesi plead guilty to a felony corruption charge in exchange for avoiding a prison sentence.
Quadrangle has already admitted involvement in the scandal. From Today's New York Times DealBook article:
"Quadrangle settled with authorities earlier this year, admitting to paying Hank Morris, a top adviser to a former New York State comptroller, Alan G. Hevesi, for his help in securing investments from the New York pension fund. Mr. Morris pleaded guilty last month to selling access to the fund."
Rattner also served briefly in the Obama administration as "autos czar". He resigned after only six months on the job.
The Times DealBook article also briefly makes mention of Rattner's onetime career as a reporter at the New York Times—before rising meteorically from journalist to private equity fund and investment banking millionaire.
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