Ex-Obama car czar near SEC settlement

By CNNMoney.com staff


LONDON (CNNMoney.com) -- Steven Rattner, President Obama's former car czar, is close to reaching a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission over his role in a "pay-to-play" scandal involving the New York state pension fund, according to published reports.

Under the deal being negotiated, Rattner would pay around $5 million and be banned from the securities industry for two years, the Financial Times and New York Times said, citing people familiar with the situation.

A deal reportedly could be announced Thursday. A spokesman for Rattner declined to comment, the reports said, and the SEC declined to comment to media, including CNN.

The SEC has been investigating Rattner's activities during his time at Quadrangle Group, the private equity firm he co-founded in 2000. Regulators alleged Quadrangle gave kickbacks to officials if they directed state pension money to the fund.

In April, Quadrangle agreed to pay a total of $12 million to settle charges by the SEC and the New York State Attorney General over the pension fund scheme case. Rattner, who no longer works at Quadrangle, was not part of that settlement.

Rattner left Quadrangle early last year when he was tapped by Obama to help oversee the restructuring of the auto industry in the wake of the financial crisis. His tenure as head of the government's auto task force was brief. He stepped down from the position in July of last year amid talk of his involvement in the pension fund scheme.  To top of page

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