Eight former managers at a unit of Marsh & McLennan were indicted Thursday for allegedly bilking customers out of millions by rigging insurance bids, as part of an ongoing probe of the industry by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
The indictments mark the first in a yearlong probe that has so far netted 17 guilty pleas on criminal charges from employees at five companies.
With the indictments, Spitzer could be headed for his first courtroom showdown over the charges.
“If they go to trial, we’re ready,” New York’s top cop said, when asked if any of the indicted ex-managers plan to fight the charges in court.
Spitzer didn’t rule out further criminal action against other individuals, and added that probes of American International Group (AIG: news, chart, profile) and other insurers continue on other fronts.
The former managers of Marsh Inc. “are accused of colluding with executives at leading insurance companies to arrange noncompetitive bids and conveying these bids to Marsh clients under false pretenses,” Spitzer said.
Michael G. Cherkasky, president and chief executive officer of Marsh & McLennan, said the charges, “are not against MMC, but against eight former employees.”