Ace Fires Two in Insurance Flap

Three others are suspended from the company's casualty risk division.
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The insurance industry kickback and bid-rigging scandal has claimed the jobs of two

Ace Ltd.

(ACE)

employees, including one who has already pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the far-reaching inquiry.

The Bermuda-based insurer said Thursday that in addition to the two firings, it has suspended three employees. All of the fired and suspended employees worked in Ace's casualty risk division.

The company, in a press release, said it took the action because the employees had failed to cooperate both with an internal investigation and an inquiry by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Last month Spitzer rocked the insurance world by filing civil fraud charges against

Marsh & McLennan

(MMC) - Get Report

, the nation's largest insurance broker, claiming the firm had orchestrated a scheme to drive up commercial insurance premiums and improperly steered business to a select group of insurers. The scandal sent investors fleeing from insurance stocks and led to the ouster of Jeffery Greenberg as Marsh's chairman and chief executive officer.

The lawsuit filed by Spitzer's office mentioned a number of insurers, including Ace and

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

. At the same time Spitzer was suing Marsh, his office also secured guilty pleas from two AIG employees and Ace executive Patricia Abrams for participating in a bid-rigging scheme engineered by Marsh.

Abrams and Geoffrey Gregory, president of Ace's casualty group, were the two employees fired by Ace.

Meanwhile, Marsh also fired four employees who've been tied to the scandal.

The Wall Street Journal

reported that one of those fired was William Gilman, who had led Marsh's global brokering unit. Several of the fired executives had been suspended previously by the firm.