Settling With S.E.C., Obama's Auto Czar Is Sued by New York Attorney General Cuomo

Here is a followup to my blog article SEC = Securities Executive Club :

Andrew M. Cuomo, the attorney general and governor-elect of New York, sued financier Steven L. Rattner on Thursday over his role in kickbacks to secure investments from the New York State pension fund. The attorney general filed two lawsuits, seeking at least $26 million from Mr. Rattner and a lifetime ban from the securities industry in New York.

Mr. Rattner, who last year headed up the Obama administration’s efforts to restructure the auto industry, responded to the attorney general’s lawsuit in a statement to DealBook on Thursday morning, addressing charges brought against him under the Martin Act, a sweeping state securities law.

“While settling with the S.E.C. begins the process of putting this matter behind me, I will not be bullied simply because the attorney general’s office prefers political considerations instead of a reasoned assessment of the facts,” said Mr. Rattner. “This episode is the first time during 35 years in business that anyone has questioned my ethics or integrity — and I certainly did not violate the Martin Act. That’s why I intend to clear my name by defending myself vigorously against this politically motivated lawsuit.”

Soon after Mr. Rattner made his statement, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office had a sharp retort: “Mr. Rattner now has a lot to say as he spins his friends in the press, but when he was questioned under oath about his pension fund dealings he was much less talkative, taking the Fifth and refusing to answer questions 68 different times. Anyone who reads the extensive facts laid out in our complaint will understand that Rattner’s claims that he did nothing wrong are ridiculous and belied by the fact that he is paying the S.E.C. $6 million today.”

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