State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has issued subpoenas in an effort to retrieve details from American International Group (AIG) on the hundreds of millions of dollars the insurance giant is set to pay out in bonuses to executives.
Cuomo asked AIG Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy to have the names of those receiving bonuses on his desk by 4 p.m. Monday.
He says his office will investigate whether those receiving the payments were involved in the insurance giant's decline and whether the payments are fraudulent under state law.
"I believe in transparency and disclosure. This is taxpayer money, and the taxpayers are providing these funds at a very, very difficult time. And we want transparency and disclosure. We believe the taxpayers have a right to know what's happening with their money," said Cuomo.
The company says it is in contact with the attorney general and will respond to his request.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said today that he is trying to stop AIG from paying the bonuses.
"How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are paying to keep the company afloat?" said the president. "In the last six months, AIG has received substantial sums from the U.S. Treasury. I have asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make American taxpayers whole."
AIG says bonuses to the tune of $165 million were contractually agreed to last year, before the firm ran into trouble that eventually led to government bailouts totaling $170 billion.
The company has agreed to Obama administration requests to restrain future payments.