American International Group
continues to clear the decks in it corporate finance office, as a state and federal investigation of the big insurer's accounting practices continues to churn.
Last week, the insurer put Vincent Cantwell, a vice president and employee in the company's comptroller's office, on leave, sources say. The company took the action the same day it placed Michael Castelli, a senior vice president and AIG's former comptroller, on leave.
A person answering the phone in Cantwell's office declined to comment, except to confirm that he was "on leave." AIG spokesman Chris Winans confirmed that Cantwell was on leave, but declined to say why.
A person familiar with the investigation says Cantwell had reported to Castelli, who served as AIG's comptroller and chief accounting officer from January 2000 through December 2004. In January, AIG promoted Castelli to senior vice president and gave him a new job title: AIG chief administrative officer.
Cantwell was the treasurer of AIG's employee political action committee, one of the insurer's lobbying entities.
During a 2001 shareholder meeting, AIG's former chief financial officer, Howard Smith, singled out Cantwell and Castelli for praise on their work on AIG's corporate budget.
On March 22, AIG's board fired Smith 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. Regulators are examining allegations that AIG used accounting games and offshore reinsurers it secretly controlled to dress up its corporate books.
reported Monday that Castelli was seen Friday being escorted out of AIG's corporate offices in Lower Manhattan by several security guards. Castelli's attorney, Ben Rosenberg, declined to comment.
Cantwell's attorney could not be reached for comment.
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.