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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Compo Beach Resident’s Return Makes Headlines

His Compo Beach area neighbors have known about it for some time, but the move back into the Westport neighborhood by former American International Group (A.I.G.) executive Joseph Cassano made headlines today.WestportNow.com Image
Joseph Cassano: back home. File photo

Cassano, who was closely associated with A.I.G.’s collapse, “recently slipped back into the United States” where he faces investigations by the FBI and other agencies, Reuters reported.

The news agency, in a lengthy report on Cassano’s move, did not say when the son of a Brooklyn, N.Y. police officer returned to Westport, where he has been a registered voter since 1995. But neighbors told WestportNow late last month they noticed his return when they saw a moving van outside his home.

WestportNow, respecting his privacy, did not report his return. Cassano until recently had been living in London where he had run A.I.G. Financial Products.

Dealings in the business had caused most of the insurer’s huge losses and threatened to bring down the global financial system until the U.S. government stepped in with a $182 billion bailout.

Cassano and his wife, Ellen Hooker, left the home originally leased for him by A.I.G. Inc. in the elite Knightsbridge area of London, close to Harrods department store, Reuters said.

The news agency said there had been speculation he would remain in London to hide from criticism in the United States and to distance himself from the government’s investigations.

But his lawyer, Joseph Warin, told Reuters that Cassano, who has not been working since the ending of a $1 million-a-month consulting agreement with A.I.G. around the time of last September’s bailout, had always intended to return to the United States.

“He is not ducking anyone,” Warin said, according to Reuters.

He added that Cassano was fully cooperating with all investigations into the losses at A.I.G. Financial Products.

A reporter for Reuters recently visited Cassano’s house and described it as “modest” — compared to the grander homes nearby.

The house, which Cassano bought in 1993 for about $750,000, has only two bedrooms, although it does have four bathrooms, an in-ground pool, a bathhouse and two fireplaces, according to real estate records obtained by Reuters.

The Reuters reporter said Hooker answered the door at the house and said Cassano was “not available right now” — even though he appeared to be beside her behind the door.

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Posted 09/29/09 at 02:56 AM  Permalink



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