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Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s holding company said an insurance subsidiary has received a subpoena from the New York state attorney general’s office demanding information. Berkshire Hathaway officials said the subpoena was delivered to General Re Corp. on Thursday, eight days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked for identical information from the reinsurance company. Buffett is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, based in Omaha, Neb. The company said in a news release that the subpoena seeks documentation and information relating to nontraditional or loss mitigation insurance products from General Re and all its affiliates — the same information sought by the SEC. “Berkshire Hathaway and General Re will cooperate fully with the New York State Attorney General,” Berkshire officials said in a news release issued Thursday night. A spokesman for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Marc Violette, confirmed the subpoena Friday, but wouldn’t comment on its scope or the records sought. Federal and state regulators have been examining loss mitigation products to see whether insurance companies sold products that may not really be insurance, but instead may be aimed at helping companies smooth out earnings. Berkshire also said it and General Re are cooperating with an investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, relating to one of General Re’s former clients. General Re and four of its current and former employees first received subpoenas for documents in that investigation in October 2003. Recently, General Re received requests for additional information related to the same former client and for information related to its finite reinsurance business from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Justice Department in Washington, Berkshire officials said. Berkshire chief financial officer Marc Hamburg did not return a telephone message left by The Associated Press seeking further comment. General Re, based in Stamford, Conn., is one of the four largest reinsurance companies in the world. Reinsurance policies are sold to primary insurers to help them cover large losses. Berkshire Hathaway stock traded rose $8 to $86,200 in trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.

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