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Judge Throws Out Convictions of Two Former Marsh Execs

Source: Business Insurance, Advisen

Posted on 06 Jul 2010

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A New York State court judge has thrown out the convictions of two former Marsh executives previously found guilty of bid-rigging charges in what is likely to mark the end of the criminal proceedings resulting from the high-profile case brought by former Attorney General Elliot Spitzer against Marsh & McLennan.

In a ruling Friday, New York County Supreme Court Judge James A. Yates overturned the convictions of former Marsh Managing Directors William Gilman and Edward J. McNenney, said Robert Cleary, partner with Proskauer Rose L.L.P. in New York, who represents Mr. Gilman.

Messrs. Gilman and McNenney—who were the first former Marsh executives to face trial in the case—were convicted in February 2008 of violating New York antitrust law but acquitted of 20 other counts of fraud and larceny. They had been sentenced to 16 weekends in jail.

In January, attorneys for Messrs. Gilman and McNenney filed a so-called 440 motion, asking Judge Yates to vacate the convictions due to prosecutorial misconduct. The duo was also separately appealing their convictions on other grounds.

Vacating the convictions of Messrs. Gilman and McNenney means that none of the convictions or guilty pleas resulting from proceedings initially brought by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has been upheld.

Prosecutors could be not reached during the July Fourth holiday.

Last October, Judge Yates acquitted three former Marsh executives of all charges in the case after a nearly 11-month trial. They are: Joseph Peiser, former managing director and head of Marsh's global broking excess casualty unit; Greg J. Doherty, former Marsh senior vp and ACE USA local broking coordinator team leader; and Kathleen M. Drake, former Marsh managing director and local broking coordinator team leader.

In November 2009, the judge dismissed criminal charges against three remaining defendants before their trial began. They are former Marsh Senior Vps Thomas T. Green Jr. and William L. McBurnie; and Geri Mandel, former senior vp at Zurich American Insurance Co.

In January, Judge Yates reduced or dismissed criminal charges against more than a dozen former insurance executives who had pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the case and agreed to serve as “cooperators.”

Marsh itself did not face any criminal charges in the case but paid $850 million in January 2005 to end officials’ bid-rigging and fraud probes.