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Judge to rule on AIG report release on Monday

Written by: Staff
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NEW YORK, Mar 4 (Reuters) A state judge said on Friday he would decide Monday whether to halt the release of an American International Group Inc. report that uncovered accounting fraud at the insurer as a federal prosecutor had requested.

Earlier this week, Paul McNulty, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a letter to New York State Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos that the release of the report could be detrimental to the U.S. Justice Department's case against one former AIG executive and three former Berkshire Hathaway Inc. executives.

At a hastily called and sometimes heated hearing, Assistant U.S.

Attorney Michael Dry argued that if the report were made public, material in it could be used to impeach witnesses in government's case.

Judge Ramos said he would read the AIG report over the weekend and decide the matter on Monday.

''In civil cases we like transparency; we don't like surprises,'' Ramos told the hearing.

The report, written last spring by AIG's attorneys, was given to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who then filed a civil suit accusing former AIG Chairman Maurice ''Hank'' Greenberg of engineering fraudulent transactions to boost AIG's stock price.

Ramos earlier this week gave AIG until March 6 to turn over the report to Greenberg, who was ousted from the company last March.

Greenberg wants to see the AIG report as part of the discovery process to defend himself against Spitzer's charges.

In addition to the former AIG head of reinsurance Christian Milton, the Virginia criminal case charges three former officers of the reinsurance unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in a 0 million accounting fraud designed to pump up AIG's reserves.

REUTERS SD PM1923

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