Private Equity Firm Settles In N.Y. Pay-To-Play Probe

Dec 16 2010 | 1:13am ET

Private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners has settled with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for its alleged role in the state pension's pay-to-play scandal.Odyssey, which was not charged with any wrongdoing, agreed to pay $400,000 to end Cuomo's probe. That's how much the New York-based firm paid placement agent Searle & Co., which allegedly funneled most of the money to Henry Morris, the top political adviser to the former state comptroller.

Cuomo also announced that Odyssey and HFV Management, the hedge fund founded by the only hedge fund manager to plead guilty in the case, have agreed to stop using placement agents in drumming up business from public pension funds.

HFV's Barrett Wissman had previously agreed to pay $12 million as part of his guilty plea on fraud charges. HFV itself paid $150,000 to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges related to the scandal, which has led to eight guilty pleas, including that of Wissman, Morris and former New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

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