The latest bungle in a growing list of corporate waste at AIG surfaced as the Federal Reserve yesterday boosted its total tab for AIG's rescue to $122.5 billion, adding $37.8 billion to its original $85 billion lifeline three weeks ago.
Following the flap over the $440,000 junket at California's St. Regis resort - revealed by Congress earlier this week - AIG officials quickly cancelled another junket set for next week at the $400-a-night Ritz-Carlton spa in California's Half Moon Bay.
But the third expensive junket has slipped by with little public notice. The golf and spa outing Sept. 28-30 came just two weeks after the Federal Reserve stepped in Sept. 17 to save AIG from imminent bankruptcy from it bad bets.
The outing for 50 AIG representatives - said by several sources to cost as much as $500,000 - was at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Hosting the junket was Keith Burger, the national sales manager of AIG Sun America's wholesale variable annuities unit, and Leslie Hunnicutt, the unit's managing director.
An AIG spokesman called the Mandalay Bay outing a "sales and training event" and disputed claims it cost $500,000, saying it cost only about $50,000.
Meanwhile, high-ranking insiders at AIG pointed to another big waste - the $10 million annual sponsorship of Britain's top soccer club, Manchester United. The total $100 million sponsorship was set up by Martin Sullivan, AIG's CEO who was fired this year for allowing AIG to pile up so many toxic investments.
Sullivan, a British subject, "was just too preoccupied with the soccer crowds and getting knighted," sources said."
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