The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to ban Corporation fellow Steven Rattner '74 P'10 P'13 from working in the securities industry for three years.
The move follows an investigation that uncovered a corrupt investment deal between the Quadrangle Group — a private investment firm which Rattner co-founded in 2000 — and New York state pension fund advisers, the New York Times reported on June 2.
The SEC's decision to pursue the severe penalty against Rattner stems from accusations that Rattner refused to accept the SEC's stipulation that he cease working on Wall Street as part of the firm's agreement with state and federal officials, according to the article.
None of the executives from other investment firms who participated in corrupt investments that were exposed during the investigation have been banned from Wall Street, according to the Times article.
In April, Quadrangle agreed to cooperate with the New York attorney general's office during its ongoing investigation into a kickback scheme involving several investment firms and the state's pension fund system. As part of the agreement, Quadrangle paid $7 million to the state and $5 million to the SEC as penalties for its role in locking up a $100 million investment from the New York State Common Retirement Funding in return for giving $1 million in middleman fees to the top adviser for Alan Hevesi, the state's former comptroller, according to statement released by the SEC on April 15.
According to the release, Rattner had previously orchestrated a deal to distribute a low-budget DVD produced by David Loglisci, the former state's deputy comptroller, and his brothers.
"This pay-to-play scheme resulted in the retirement fund's assets being invested with Quadrangle for the hidden purpose of enriching a political operative and the Deputy Comptroller's brother," said David Rosenfeld, associate director of the SEC's New York regional office, in the release.
In a press release from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office, Quadrangle took a hard stance against Rattner, stating, "We wholly disavow the conduct engaged in by Steve Rattner," adding that the firm found Rattner's conduct "inappropriate, wrong and unethical."
The SEC and the attorney general's office limited their investigation to "actions of former Quadrangle employees," as part of the settlement, according to a statement released by Quadrangle after the agreement was finalized. "Quadrangle neither admitted nor denied any allegations," the firm stated.
According to the Times article, Rattner is refusing to accept the SEC's penalty. Jamie Gorelick, Rattner's attorney, said in a statement that her client shared the goal of eliminating corrupt deals involving the state's pension fund.
"Mr. Rattner does not agree with the characterization of events released today, including those contained in Quadrangle's statement," she said in the statement.
Rattner, a former editor-in-chief of The Herald, joined the Brown Corporation in 1994. He left Quadrangle in February 2009 when President Barack Obama appointed him to the position of "car czar," charging him with the task of advising the Treasury Department on the automobile industry bailout. Rattner stepped down last summer after the SEC and the attorney general's office announced the result of their investigation into the kickback scheme.