General Re Exec Pleads Guilty to Criminal Conspiracy

June 6, 2005

An executive from General Re plead guilty to a charge of criminal conspiracy in relation to the company’s transaction with American International Group Inc., the world’s largest insurer, according to the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

John Houldsworth, who headed up Berkshire Hathaway’s General Re reinsurance unit in Dublin, plead guilty to criminal conspiracy and will assist the Justice Department and the Securities Exchange Commission in their investigation into nontraditional insurance products, the Journal reported, citing two unidentified sources familiar with the situation. Houldsworth faces up to five years in prison for his role in the 2001 transaction, which improperly boosted AIG’s reserves by $500 million. The Journal reported that Houldsworth, 46, is currently on paid leave from General Re.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that the Justice Department will file a criminal complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia and the SEC will file a civil complaint in the Southern District of Manhattan later today. The documents are expected to provide detailed information of the alleged conspiracy, the Journal reported.

Editor’s note: See related story in National news.

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