Steven Rattner is near a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a probe of corruption at New York state’s pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Rattner, 58, is the co-founder of Quadrangle Group LLC, a New York-based private-equity firm he has since left. The proposed agreement includes a two-year ban from the financial industry and a $6 million fine, according to the person, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. In June, the SEC proposed a three-year ban, while Rattner suggested one to two years, a person with knowledge of those negotiations said at the time.
Rattner allegedly paid $1.1 million in finder fees to Henry “Hank” Morris, the former chief political consultant to ex-New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In exchange, Quadrangle received an investment from the fund, said Cuomo, who settled his probe of the firm earlier this year for $7 million.
“We wholly disavow the conduct engaged in by Steve Rattner,” Manhattan-based Quadrangle said of its settlement at the time, adding that it didn’t admit or deny any wrongdoing.
A settlement between Rattner and the SEC would come a week after Hevesi pleaded guilty to participating in the so-called pay-to-play scandal at the pension fund, which he once ran. Hevesi was the highest-ranking official convicted in a three- year investigation by Cuomo, the Democratic candidate for governor of New York.
SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment.
Hevesi, 69, who was elected state comptroller in 2002 and resigned in 2006, admitted Oct. 7 to a second-degree charge of receiving reward for official misconduct in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Hevesi, also a Democrat, agreed to cooperate in Cuomo’s probe and may avoid prison time.
Quadrangle Asset Management has handled the personal and philanthropic finances of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whom Rattner supported through his chairmanship of Democrats for Bloomberg during the 2005 re-election campaign. Bloomberg is the majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.
Rattner served until July in the Obama Administration’s Treasury Department as chief adviser on auto-industry restructuring.
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