Leslie 'Les' Moonves, former president and chief executive officer of CBS Corporation, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
New York CNN Business  — 

Leslie Moonves, former chief executive officer of CBS, and CBS reached a $30.5 million settlement with the office of the attorney general of New York, Letitia James, on Wednesday.

The settlement is a part of an investigation by the state alleging that “CBS and its senior leadership knew about multiple allegations of sexual assault made against Mr. Moonves and intentionally concealed those allegations from regulators, shareholders, and the public for months.”

“The investigation also revealed that another senior executive at CBS — one of the few people who knew about the allegations — sold millions of dollars of CBS stock in the weeks before the allegations became public,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

Moonves stepped down as CBS’ chief executive in 2018 following multiple sexual misconduct allegations. The exit marked the end of Moonves’ tenure atop one of the most powerful companies in the media world. Moonves denied the allegations.

The agreement with the New York attorney general requires CBS to pay $28 million, “$22 million of which will go back to CBS shareholders and $6 million to strengthening mechanisms for reporting and investigating complaints of sexual harassment and assault,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

Moonves himself must pay $2.5 million, which will also go to CBS shareholders.

A representative for Moonves did not immediately return a request for comment.

CBS and Viacom merged to become ViacomCBS in 2019. The merger was a reunion for the two companies, which split in 2006. The company then changed its name to Paramount Global earlier this year.

“We are pleased to resolve this matter concerning events from 2018 with the New York Attorney General’s office, without any admission of liability or wrongdoing,” a Paramount Global spokesperson told CNN Business. “The matter involved alleged misconduct by CBS’s former CEO, who was terminated for cause in 2018, and does not relate in any way to the current company.”

The attorney general said in her statement that “CBS and Leslie Moonves’ attempts to silence victims, lie to the public, and mislead investors can only be described as reprehensible.”

“As a publicly traded company, CBS failed its most basic duty to be honest and transparent with the public and investors,” she added. “After trying to bury the truth to protect their fortunes, today CBS and Leslie Moonves are paying millions of dollars for their wrongdoing.”

The press release also says that Gil Schwartz, CBS’ former chief communications officer, sold millions of dollars in shares weeks before the allegations became public. Schwartz died in 2020.

The New York AG office also claimed on Wednesday that the investigation “uncovered that a captain at the Los Angeles Police Department informed CBS executives of a confidential sexual assault complaint against Mr. Moonves.”

This included text messages between the captain, a CBS executive, and Moonves, which “revealed that the LAPD captain shared confidential information and worked with CBS executives for months to prevent the complaint from becoming public.”

The LAPD said on Wednesday that it is “fully cooperating with the New York and California Attorney General offices and have also initiated an internal investigation regarding the conduct of the retired command officer as well as to identify any other member(s) of the organization that may have been involved.”

“What is most appalling is the alleged breach of trust of a victim of sexual assault, who is among the most vulnerable, by a member of the LAPD,” Chief Michel Moore said in a statement. “This erodes the public trust and is not reflective of our values as an organization.”

The New York AG office said that it “has shared all relevant information about this investigation with the Office of the California Attorney General.”

The California attorney general couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.