AIG bonuses larger than first reported

March 21, 2009 at 8:13 PM
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HARTFORD, Conn., March 21 (UPI) -- American International Group Inc. employees were paid $218 million in bonuses, not $165 million, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Saturday.

News of a $165 million payout of so-called retention payouts at the distressed global insurance giant provoked public outrage in the United States. Blumenthal's office said Saturday the $218 million total was calculated by his office based on documents provided Friday by AIG, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported.

The new figure includes bonuses paid in December, the newspaper said.

"We're asking the company to explain," Blumenthal said. "So far, their answers raise more questions than they answer. Were there any other additional bonuses that have not been explained?"

AIG spokesman Joseph Norton told the Courant that AIG Chairman Edward Liddy has already explained the payments to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

"Mr. Liddy said in his correspondence to Mr. Geithner that a payment under the retention program was made in December before this latest March payment," Norton said. "At this point, not having seen what Mr. Blumenthal said, we believe that's what he is referring to. The March payments were $165 million, not $218 million."

Blumenthal said the documentation provided by AIG shows total payment of $218 million.

"Some of that total is from earlier bonuses, but the main point is all of it seems to be out of taxpayer funds. ... Whether the payments were made in December or March seems to be beside the point. The total that was disclosed so far was $165 million."

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