Fraud Trial May Put Buffett on Stand

Defense says billionaire knew about phony insurance deal
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 2, 2008 1:24 PM CST
Investor Warren Buffet participates in the Treasury Conference on U.S. Capital Markets Competitiveness at Georgetown University in Washington in this March 13, 2007 file photo.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A criminal trial involving four ex-employees of billionaire Warren Buffett is likely to offer a rare—and unwelcome—glimpse into the inner workings of the “Oracle of Omaha,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Buffett isn’t charged in the case—to begin Monday—involving Berkshire Hathaway reinsurance unit General Re Corp. and AIG, but testimony could allege he knew about the deal.

Four General Re employees and a former AIG exec stand accused of fraud and conspiracy in 2000 and 2001 for artificially inflating the amount of loss AIG could absorb, which led to higher share prices. A defense attorney claims emails and "extensive evidence" show Buffett approved the deal and said he might call the 77-year-old to testify.