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Greenberg hits back at Spitzer

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former American International Group chief executive, has hit back at Eliot Spitzer after the New York attorney general’s latest allegations that Greenberg cheated CV Starr’s charitable foundation in the 1970’s.

“He (Spitzer) doesn't care what the facts are; the agenda is to demonize me,” said Greenberg.

Greenberg also labelled Spitzer “irresponsible” and condemned the attorney general’s tactics which he described as a trial by media.

Greenberg also said he will support opponents of Spitzer when he runs for New York governor.

“It's against every legal principle we stand for,” Greenberg added.

Greenberg’s comments come in the aftermath of a report released by Spitzer, which accuses Greenberg, and others, of enriching themselves as executors of the estate of AIG's founder Cornelius Vander Starr.

In a letter sent to the Starr Foundation by Spitzer it said Greenberg and other executors had a conflict of interest when they sold the foundation’s shares to two companies controlled by Greenberg, CV Starr & Co and Starr International Co, at an excessively low price.

AIG then acquired these same assets, now valued at $6 billion, according to Spitzer, from CV Starr and Starr International in exchange for its stock at a far higher price, according to Spitzer.

But Greenberg denied the allegations claiming the transaction happened at a proper market value and adding that the figure of $6bn was “concocted out of thin air”.

Last month Spitzer’s office confirmed that it would not be pursuing criminal charges against Greenberg.

“The office decided months ago to pursue the case as a civil matter,” said Spitzer spokesman Darren Dopp on 25 November 2005 following a report in the Wall Street Journal. “An amendment to the civil complaint is possible, but no final decision has been made,” Dopp added.

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