New York Drops Last Marsh Bid-Rigging Criminal Cases

New York dropped the last two criminal cases tied to a 2004 bid-rigging scandal involving Marsh & McLennan Cos after failing to win convictions of any of the eight insurance executives indicted.

The state attorney general’s office has dismissed its indictments against former Marsh executives William Gilman and Edward McNenney, lawyers for the defendants said.

These dismissals end criminal proceedings in a case that began in 2004 when then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer began probing the alleged steering of clients to favored insurers in exchange for kickbacks.

Marsh, the largest U.S. insurance broker at the time, agreed in January 2005 to pay $850 million and end improper bid-rigging in a civil settlement with Spitzer.

Gilman was a former Marsh executive marketing director and McNenney was a former Marsh global placement director. Each had been found guilty in February 2008 on a felony antitrust charge following a 10-month bench trial.

The presiding judge at that trial, New York State Supreme Court Justice James Yates, threw out those convictions last July, citing newly discovered evidence.

Gilman and McNenney were among the eight insurance executives indicted in September 2005.

The others, including five from Marsh and one from a Zurich Financial Services AG unit, were acquitted or had their cases dismissed by Andrew Cuomo, who succeeded Spitzer as attorney general.

Twenty-one other executives from Marsh and various insurance carriers pleaded guilty in the case and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Cuomo, now New York’s governor, decided not to pursue the cases against Gilman and McNenney after Yates’ ruling in July.

“We agree with the decision of the prior administration not to take further action in this 6-year-old matter,” said Danny Kanner, a spokesman for the current attorney general, Eric Schneiderman.