Rattner Settles NY Pay to Play Charges for $10M

December 30, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Steven Rattner, former founding principal of private equity firm Quadrangle Group and former Obama administration car czar, has agreed to a $10-million settlement of pension pay-to-play charges in New York.

A news release from New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said the deal with Rattner also called for Rattner to be banned from appearing in any capacity before a public pension fund in New York for five years.

The deal announced Thursday wraps up Cuomo’s two pending lawsuits relating to the circumstances surrounding $150 million in investments in Quadrangle from the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The suits alleged Rattner paid kickbacks to help his company land the pension business in 2004 and 2005; Rattner denied wrongdoing.

“The state pension fund is a valuable asset held in trust for retirees and supported by taxpayers,” Cuomo said in the announcement. “Through the many cases, pleas and settlements in this investigation, I believe we have been able to help restore and protect the integrity of the state pension fund.”

According to the Cuomo announcement, with Rattner’s deal, the pay-to-play probe has secured agreements with nineteen firms and five individuals, garnering over $170 million for New York and the pension fund. The investigation has led to eight guilty pleas, including pleas by former Comptroller Alan Hevesi, his chief political consultant, and his Chief Investment Officer.