Marsh Exec Pleads Guilty to Bid-Rigging Criminal Charges

February 24, 2005 ( - A former Marsh & McLennan managing director has pleaded guilty to criminal charges linked to a New York state investigation into bid-rigging and price-fixing at insurance brokers.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Kathryn Winter pleaded guilty in Manhattan State Supreme Court on Thursday. The charge brought against her was a felony count of scheme to defraud.

Winter, with her guilty plea, admitted that between 2001 and 2004 schemes operated by her resulted in clients being hoodwinked by a “deceptive bidding process,” the AP reported.

In the agreement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that led to the guilty plea, Winter is required to cooperate with his investigation and testify if needed. She received the same deal as nine other executives in the industry who have also pleaded guilty, according to the AP. Her sentence – which will most likely be given when the probe into the industry it completed – will depend on her level of cooperation. She could receive fines or a jail sentence, Justice James Yates informed her, the AP reported.

Multiple executives from companies across the industry have pleaded guilty to charges of bid-rigging and deceptive practices. Most recently, guilty pleas were entered by a senior Marsh executive and two AIG employees (See  Spitzer Insurance Bid-Rigging Probe Prompts Three More Guilty Pleas ). This brought to nine the number of executives pleading guilty from four different companies in the course of the Spitzer investigation (See Spitzer Takes On Contingent Commissions ).