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Andrew Cuomo and Steve Rattner settle pension fund case

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Just two days before leaving office, New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo opted to settle his lawsuits against financier Steve Rattner.

Rattner, a former banker who became President Obama’s auto industry czar, agreed to pay $10 million to end two lawsuits that accused him of paying kickbacks to win investment business from the New York State pension fund.

Rattner was one of several investors accused of improperly securing investments from the state’s Common Retirement Fund. Cuomo already won guilty pleas from eight people in the case, including former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

The settlement brings a quiet end to what was a bitter public fight between Cuomo and Rattner.

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Cuomo opted to sue Rattner on the same day that the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was settling with Rattner, and Cuomo demanded that Rattner be permanently barred from the securities industry.

In the days after Cuomo filed his suits, the two men threw sharply worded barbs at one another, with Rattner calling Cuomo a bully and Cuomo saying that Rattner’s conduct amounted to ‘stealing taxpayers’ money.’

The lawsuit alleged that Rattner paid Hevesi advisors more than $1 million to win $150 million in investments for his former firm, Quadrangle Group.

Under the settlement, Rattner will not be able to seek business from public pension funds for five years.

Cuomo will become New York’s governor Saturday.

-- Nathaniel Popper


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