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Conseco Wants Its Pound of Flesh

A year after emerging from bankruptcy, a newly reconstructed Conseco, Inc. is looking to recover $650 million from a group of former executives, known as the 'Big Nine'. In better times, Conseco guaranteed bank loans so the top executives could buy the company's once-soaring stock. Such directors and officers (D&O) programs were outlawed in 2002 by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

In late 2003, Conseco filed suit against nine former executives who participated in the D&O program, but recouping the losses may be more difficult than originally anticipated. Kirkland partner Reed Oslan, who is representing Conseco in the litigation, says most of the 'Big Nine' have taken desperate measures to hide assets from the company.  

This article appeared in its entirety in the September 6, 2004 issue of BusinessWeek.