New York Attorney General expects to recoup bonuses, after he threatens legal action and public shaming. But he will take death threats into account.

Fifteen out of twenty of AIG’s top staff have agreed to give their pay bonuses in full, said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. He said he hopes to recoup $80m of bonus

payments made to Americans, about half of the $165m paid by AIG on 15 March. Cuomo has also said that 73 AIG employees had received bonuses of $1m or more in 2008.

Cuomo has said he wanted to make public the names and details of AIG staff in receipt of bonuses, but that he was assessing security and privacy issues following death threats against some employees. AIG Chief Executive Edward Liddy earlier told a US congressional committee on 18 March that some executives had received death threats.

Cuomo indicated that legal action could be on the cards. “Our legal theory is fraudulent conveyance, and we think it is a powerful legal theory,” he said.

Cuomo said that those who repaid bonuses would not be named. “If a person returns the money I don’t it is in the public interest to name them.” He said that those people will see their name disappear from his list permanently.

Many AIG staff who have not paid back their bonuses appear to be based in London, out of reach of the New York Attorney General. Cuomo said: “We have a very aggressive theory about our jurisdiction but we don’t have a theory that gets us to London.”