Rattner Involved in Inquiry on Fees - WSJ.com

Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration's auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments under scrutiny in a probe of an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A Securities and Exchange Commission complaint says a "senior executive" of Mr. Rattner's investment firm met in 2004 with a politically connected consultant about a finder's fee. Later, the complaint says, the firm received an investment from the state pension fund and paid $1.1 million in fees.

The "senior executive," not named in the complaint, is Mr. Rattner, according to the person familiar with the matter.

The main legal issue for the investment firms turns on whether they knew, or should have known, that fees they paid to certain entities for access to the New York fund were legitimate or were improper kickbacks, and whether they were properly disclosed, according to people familiar with the matter.

The SEC alleges in its complaint that a meeting was arranged between the senior Quadrangle executive and a brother of New York's then-deputy comptroller to discuss acquiring the DVD distribution rights to the low-budget film, "Chooch." The deputy comptroller, now under indictment, and his brothers produced the movie.

Quadrangle, through an affiliate called GT Brands, agreed to acquire the rights for $88,841, and three weeks later the deputy comptroller told the senior Quadrangle executive that Quadrangle would get a $100 million investment from the pension fund, according to the complaint. Quadrangle then paid the $1.1 million finders fees to a company affiliated with the political consultant, according to the complaint.

So a political consultant arranges a meeting between Rattner and the Deputy Comptroller. Rattner wants the Comptroller to invest his money with his firm. Rattner agrees to buy the DVD rights to a ****ty movie produced by the deputy comptroller and his brothers for $90k. Three weeks later, the deputy comptroller invests $100m of taxpayer money with Rattner. Rattner then pays the political consultant a $1.1m fee.

Does that seem ****ed up to anyone else?

And before anyone posts it - yes, the article states that neither Rattner nor his company have been accused of wrongdoing. That is in no way an indication that they're innocent, but rather only that the SEC hasn't conducted/finished an investigation on that topic yet.

Guess he can't cover this one up like his wife's dwi.