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Spitzer says a 'civil resolution' of AIG investigation is possible

NEW YORK -- The new chief executive of American International Group Inc. says he is cooperating fully with regulators, who are looking into widespread accounting irregularities, and the New York attorney general said he thinks a ''civil resolution" of the probe is possible.

The statement from Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that a resolution could be reached without criminal charges sent the huge insurance company's shares up 4.6 percent.

In a letter to shareholders released late Sunday night, chief executive Martin J. Sullivan said management was working ''to ensure that everyone throughout the organization complies with AIG's policy of full cooperation with all investigative efforts, both internal and external."

Sullivan, who was named to the top post on March 14 after the board forced the resignation of longtime chief executive Maurice Greenberg, also said AIG ''has worked diligently to protect and preserve relevant documents" needed in the probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Spitzer's office.

Sullivan made the statement about documents after acknowledging a reported incident in which documents were removed from an AIG building in Bermuda or destroyed. He said one Bermuda-based employee was terminated and several others resigned.

Yesterday Spitzer said the board and current management of AIG ''are now cooperating."

''Based upon these efforts, and based upon our knowledge to date, we believe that a civil resolution with the corporation will ultimately be achievable," Spitzer said in the statement.

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