updated 6/8/2005 11:00:44 PM ET 2005-06-09T03:00:44

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg resigned late Wednesday from the board of American International Group Inc., the insurance company he led as CEO for nearly 40 years.

Greenberg’s resignation was effective immediately, AIG spokesman Chris Winans said.

Greenberg resigned through a short letter faxed to the board, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site.

“My decision to resign now results from my inability to receive information regarding the company and its operations necessary to fulfill my fiduciary duties,” Greenberg wrote, according to the newspaper. “I wish the employees of AIG every future success.”

A spokesman for Greenberg’s legal team, Howard Opinsky, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

AIG’s board forced Greenberg, 80, to relinquish his posts as president and CEO on March 14, and he retired as the company’s chairman two weeks later.

Civil lawsuit filed
New York regulators have filed a civil lawsuit against AIG, Greenberg and former Chief Financial Officer Howard I. Smith, saying they orchestrated an accounting scheme that made AIG’s financial picture appear brighter than it was, misleading both investors and regulators.

Last week, the New York-based company filed its long-delayed 2004 annual report with regulators. It lowered its reported income by nearly $4 billion for the last five years and cut shareholders’ equity by $2.26 billion, or 2.7 percent, to $80.61 billion as of Dec. 31, 2004.

AIG shares fell 28 cents to close at $54.95 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded between $49.91 and $74.15 over the past year.

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