The former comptroller for

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

, who was promoted earlier this year to senior vice president, has taken a leave of absence from the giant insurer, which is embroiled in a far-reaching accounting scandal.

A person answering the phone for Michael Castelli said the 16-year AIG executive was "on leave."The woman declined to comment further.

An AIG spokesman said he could not immediately comment on Castelli's status.

However, a source said Castelli was seen Friday being escorted out of AIG's corporate offices in Lower Manhattan by several security guards.

From 2000 through December 2004, Castelli was AIG's comptroller and chief accounting officer. He had reported to former AIG Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith, who was fired by AIG's board on March 22 for refusing to cooperate with the joint state and federal investigation.

The board ousted Smith after he asserted his constitutional right against self-incrimination during an interview with investigators looking into allegations that AIG used accounting games and offshore reinsurers it secretly controlled to dress up its corporate books.

The investigation of AIG has led to the dismissal of a number of other executives, including the forced resignation of Maurice Greenberg, the insurance executive who ruled AIG with an iron fist for nearly four decades.

Before joining AIG, Castelli was in the insurance industry practice at

PricewaterhouseCoopers

. The big accounting firm is AIG's auditor.

In January, AIG promoted Castelli to senior vice president and gave him a new job description, AIG chief administrative officer. In that post, Castelli was responsible for overseeing "purchasing, real estate, security, food services and travel," according to a Jan. 6 press release.