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Former Marsh Executives Bid-Rigging Case Dropped by Judge

Posted on 20 Nov 2009

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A New York judge dismissed charges against the last three alleged participants in a bid-rigging scheme involving employees of Marsh & McLennan Cos.

State Supreme Court Justice James Yates today dropped the charges against former Marsh executives William McBurnie and Thomas Green and former Zurich Financial Services AG executive Geri Mandel at the request of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In court papers, Cuomo cited the “unjustifiably high cost” of prosecuting them in light of the “likely outcomes.”

“It’s still sinking in,” McBurnie, a former senior vice president at Marsh, said in an interview in the hallway of the Manhattan courthouse after the charges were dismissed. “It’s been a long road, a difficult road, but it’s behind me.”

The executives were indicted in 2005 and 2006 as part of a probe of anticompetitive insurance sales practices begun by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. In February 2008, in the first trial in the case, Yates found former Marsh managing directors William Gilman and Edward McNenney guilty of a single count of restraint of trade after a 10-month trial.

Yates acquitted the executives of 20 other charges, and sentenced them to 16 weekends in jail. Last month, Yates acquitted three other former Marsh executives of bid-rigging and price-fixing charges after an 11-month trial.