New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Files Civil and Forfeiture Actions Against Steven Rattner, Former Principal of Private Equity Fund Manager Quadrangle Group, in State Pension Fund Pay To Play Scheme, While SEC Files and Settles Similar Charges Against Rattner
Hedge Fund Law Report
On November 18, 2010, the New York State Attorney General (AG) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed related civil charges against Steven L. Rattner, founder and former principal of the Quadrangle Group, LLC (Quadrangle), for his participation in a pay to play kickback scheme devised by former members of the New York State Comptroller’s Office, administrators of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF). The complaints accuse Rattner of arranging a distribution deal for a film produced by the brother of David Loglisci, the Deputy Comptroller; retaining and paying Henry “Hank” Morris, the top political adviser and chief fundraiser for former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, over $1 million in sham placement fees; and of obtaining, at Morris’ request, $50,000 in third-party contributions for Hevesi’s reelection campaign, in order to secure a $150 million investment in a Quadrangle fund from the CRF. Rattner agreed to settle with the SEC, while neither admitting nor denying any wrongdoing. The AG’s civil action remains pending. The SEC and the AG have already brought cases against other parties to the pay to play scheme. On April 19, 2010, the SEC settled a related action against Quadrangle and its affiliates. SEC v. Quadrangle Group LLC, et al., 10-CV-3192. It has also accused Morris, Loglisci and several others with orchestrating the fraudulent scheme to extract kickbacks from investment management firms. SEC v. Morris, et al., 09-CV-2518. Similarly, the AG has filed and obtained civil settlements from nineteen individuals, as well as guilty pleas from eight individuals, including: Hevesi, who, on October 7, 2010, pled guilty to receiving a reward for official misconduct; Loglisci, who, on March 10, 2010, pled guilty to violating the Martin Act; and Morris, who, on November 22, 2010, pled guilty to violating the Martin Act. Morris admitted in court that he “intentionally engaged in fraud, deception . . . and made material false representations and statements with intent to deceive and defraud.” This article details the allegations in the respective complaints and the causes of action against Rattner.