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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 September 2005, 19:48 GMT 20:48 UK
Spitzer targets Marsh executives
New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer
Mr Spitzer is known as a force to be reckoned with
Eight former executives of the largest insurance broker in the US, Marsh & McLennan, have been indicted on charges involving price-rigging.

They were accused of colluding with executives at major insurance firms to arrange non-competitive bids, said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

The practice meant that corporate clients were denied the best prices for the policies they required, he said.

All of the eight defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case is part of Mr Spitzer's widening investigation into the insurance industry.

'No responsible argument'

Mr Spitzer's crusades against corporate sleaze have earned him the nickname "Sheriff of Wall Street".

Not only was it wrong, it was harmful to the economy
Eliot Spitzer

The attorney general charged William Gilman - alleged to be the architect of the price-rigging scandal - and seven other former senior executives at Marsh with 37 counts, including scheming to defraud and grand larceny.

"These are very senior executives within the Marsh hierarchy," said Mr Spitzer.

"Not only was it wrong, it was harmful to the economy. There is simply no responsible argument in favour of rigging bids, stifling competition and cheating."

If convicted, the defendants could face sentences of between 15 and 25 years in prison.

The price rigging is believed to have cost Marsh & McLennan's corporate customers millions of dollars.

On Thursday, shares in Marsh & McLennan were down 15 cents at $28.73 in New York.

Pricing scandal hits Marsh profit
03 May 05 |  Business
US insurer Marsh cuts 2,500 jobs
01 Mar 05 |  Business
Marsh pays $850m to end charges
31 Jan 05 |  Business
Marsh executive in guilty plea
06 Jan 05 |  Business
US insurers hit by probe threat
20 Oct 04 |  Business
Troubled Marsh under SEC scrutiny
23 Dec 04 |  Business

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