Three former American International Group Inc. chief executive officers deflected blame for the insurer's $85 billion U.S. bailout, while a lawmaker said the firm blocked auditors from access to the unit that pushed it to the brink of collapse.

Maurice "Hank'' Greenberg, who ran AIG for 38 years until 2005, told Congress today that risk controls he put in place were weakened or eliminated after he left. Martin Sullivan, who was CEO for three years until June, and Robert Willumstad, an ex- Citigroup Inc. president who ran AIG until last month, blamed an accounting rule that forced the firm to book unrealized losses.

Lawmakers lashed out at AIG for "wining and dining'' its executives in a $440,000 weeklong conference at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California, just days after the bailout. The trip was scheduled a year earlier to reward top salespeople for the company's life insurance business.

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