KICKBACKS & CLIENT # 9

News broke recently that Elliot Spitzer, arguably the most exposed hypocrite in the history of American politics, was being sued for having libeled two former Marsh & MaClennan executives exonerated of any wrong doing in the most famous kickback scandal ever to hit the insurance agency/brokerage system.  To this day, compensation disclosure issues plague independent agents, lawsuits are still underway in states like New York and contingency commissions under siege across the land; all a result of Spitzers original prosecutions.

In 2004 William Gilman had worked at Marsh for 28 years, Ed McNenney for 14, when Spitzer, then New York’s attorney general, opened a probe into the company’s account placement practices.  The evidence was ugly, by any standard, and included very damning emails between carriers, clients and Marsh execs that seemed  to reinforce Spitzers charges. While Marsh paid millions in fines and restitution, as did numerous carriers and most of the other large brokerage houses; the two Marsh execs, Gilman and McNenney claimed they were scapegoats and chose to fight it out in court.  After years of doing just that and at heavy expense, both emotional and financial, they prevailed and were resting peacefully until Spitzer wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal dragging their names back into the spotlight; and himself back into court.

You can find dozens of documents on the original investigation and the very intriguing case that followed, including depositions, plea agreements, court and other related documents on this blog site under the Library tab on the home page; select “Miscellaneous Documents” and scroll to the bottom section titled “Marsh Kickback Scandal/Compensation Disclosure.”

Of course, Spitzer resigned as New York’s governor in March 2008 after a scandal in which it was revealed that he had hired a high-priced prostitute. As attorney general he had preened before camera’s having busted several prostitution rings; all while building an underground reputation with the Emperor’s Club Escort Service as “difficult” client number nine. Last month, CNN canceled Spitzer’s low-rated television talk show called “In the Arena,” after less than one year on the air.

The story of Spitzers investigation, Marsh’s practices, Gillman and McNeeny’s trial(s) and Elliot Spitzers tribulations is one of the most compelling in the history of insurance. I’ve put it together, in a short story titled “KICKBACK” which tells how it all unfolded, and perhaps, why.  Hope you find it worthy of reading.

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