Obama's 'car Tsar' settles bribes case

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The Independent Online

Steven Rattner, the hedge fund industry grandee who was last year appointed by the Obama administration to oversee the restructuring of the car industry, has agreed to pay $10m to settle lawsuits over his role in a bribery scandal.

Officials at the New York state employees' pension fund funnelled business to investment managers who agreed to pay kickbacks, and Mr Rattner was accused of funding the distribution of a low-budget movie made by the brothers of the fund's chief investment officer, and paying "sham fees" to an agent working on behalf of the fund, according to two lawsuits filed by the New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo.

In return, Quadrangle, MrRattner's former fund, was given a $150m investment from thepension fund.

Mr Rattner has also agreed to be banned from appearing in any capacity before any public pension fund in New York for five years, it emerged last night.

Last month, Mr Rattner agreed to settle similar claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paying $6.2m to end those cases. He stepped down from his auto industry role – where he was known as the "car tsar" – in July.

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