The London branch of AIG was so concerned about the demands to return the bonuses that a compliance officer asked British law enforcement whether it amounted to extortion:
After the meeting, a compliance officer for the Banque AIG unit in London went so far as to ask UK authorities from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) to probe whether demands to return the payments could be considered extortion, according to emails obtained by Reuters.
But AIG spokesman Mark Herr said in a statement on Wednesday that the concern by compliance officer David Haig “on the legality of the repayments or potential repayments was not shared by the company.” Herr said that SOCA “has granted consent for the repayments to go forward.” A SOCA spokesperson said earlier in the day that the agency could not confirm or deny if the matter was under investigation.
However, such a probe likely would be a departure for the agency, given that its mission is to investigate serious organized crime matters.
SOCA should definitely look at AIG, but for entirely different reasons.
Late Update: Moe Tkacik has more at TPMmuckraker.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.