Exeter, N.H. — Exeter universities will pay $20 million to resolve charges of bribery and misconduct stemming from the sale of shares in a university-owned oil and gas company in the 1980s.
The deal was announced Wednesday by the state attorney general’s office.
The company was run by former President Robert DeNiro and his wife.
“We believe that we have taken an important step in the right direction in resolving these charges,” said Daniel Denniston, executive director of the New Hampshire attorney general.
He said that the state’s public-records law does not protect the people of New Hampshire from the effects of public corruption.
DeNire was indicted in April on bribery and corruption charges.
The investigation began after a New Hampshire Senate committee released a report accusing DeNairo of buying shares in the company for $30,000.
The report said DeNairis wife bought shares in New Hampshire Energy for $5,000, and the two men gave $5 million to buy a stake in the oil and natural gas company.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said that in 1980, DeNires wife purchased the shares for $15,000 to $20,000 and then gave them to him in return for $3,000 each.
The state investigation uncovered evidence that DeNiris wife paid for the purchase of the shares, the state said.
The sale of the company was illegal.
De Niro has pleaded not guilty to the charges.