AIG has allegedly stopped paying many of its bills in spite of its $180 billion in bailout cash, and a lawsuit filed against the firm by a Pennsylvania real estate developer managing 16,800 apartments owned by the global real estate arm paints a disturbing portrait of goings-on at the failed insurer that give emphatic new meaning to the term "zombie bank."
In his complaint, King of Prussia, Pa. property developer Mitchell Morgan alleges numerous counts of fraud and breach of contract, and depicts AIG as an absentee landlord to its multibillion dollar real estate portfolio, halting maintenance and renovation fees to hundreds of properties and potentially deepening the real estate crash further, sabotaging its own investments at the expense of taxpayers. Striking a populist tone notable for an outspoken Republican who once hosted a Rick Santorum fundraiser featuring George W. Bush in his own (generously-sized) home, Morgan's suit paints a portrait of a company that manages largely by never returning phone calls and blaming the Fed for everything:
There are real-world consequences for AIG's financial irresponsibility and its failure to honor its commitments. Employees whose jobs depend on the project renovations will be faced with loss of jobs in an economy whose unemployment rate continues to rise dramatically... Unlike many of the large real estate transactions that were occurring at the time, the goal of this Limited Partnership was not to purchase and "condo convert" or "flip" the properties, but to renovate them and continue to rent them to low income and middle class families...Because of the failure to timely approve and fund the required capital contributions, the Partnership's vendors, if not paid on time, which will constitute an immediate event of default under the Partnership's loan agreements. To be clear, these are real loans, not federal bailout loans that can simply be restructured.Morgan is far from the only partner AIG has stiffed, but thus far he appears to be the only one to have sued, perhaps because he remembers how the insurer ran things in the boom years.
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