The American International Group is suing ICP Asset Management for $350 million, claiming the company harmed AIG by manipulating securities, and similar suits against Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are in the works.
AIG, which was bailed out by the U.S. government to the tune of $182 billion during the financial crisis, is claiming it suffered losses insuring mortgage securities created by ICP. According to a copy of the suit obtained by the New York Times, the giant insurer is trying to “recoup potentially billions of dollars from the fraudulent conduct of these defendants and other parties.”
The ICP suit also names Moore Capital, a New York hedge fund, which AIG says also benefited from the alleged manipulations, although Moore is not charged with fraud.
A person “with knowledge of the litigation” told the NYT that the decision to sue was all AIG’s, but as the company is still largely owned by the government, taxpayers would benefit from any funds recovered.
As part of the bailout deal, AIG waived its right to sue the banks over most of the mortgage securities it had insured but it retained the right to sue the managers that oversaw the complicated deals involving mortgage securities and complex financial contracts. AIG also retained the right to sue over the $40 billion in mortgage bonds it purchased from banks and which were responsible for much of its losses.
According to the Times, AIG’s future lawsuits will focus on what the insurer says are misrepresentations made by banks selling mortgage bonds. Besides BofA and Goldman Sachs, AIG may sue Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns (now owned by JPMorgan Chase).