Federal authorities clashed publicly with Maurice Greenberg over the significance of his agreement to pay $15 million in settling charges of fraudulent accounting while he headed up American International Group, prompting him to clarify his position and acknowledge the seriousness of the charges he had faced.

Besides Mr. Greenberg–who was forced to leave his posts as chair and chief executive officer at AIG after the accounting scandal was revealed in 2005–the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said that Howard Smith, AIG's former vice chair and chief financial officer, had also agreed to penalties and disgorgement fees, which in his case amounted to $1.5 million.

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