LOS ANGELES – Authorities and celebrities were grappling Monday with how to respond to a website that posted what appears to be private financial information about top government officials and stars such as Jay-Z and Mel Gibson.

Los Angeles police and the FBI said they were aware of the pages but declined to confirm they were investigating the site, which posted purported Social Security numbers and credit reports of the leaders of both agencies. Pages posted on Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not include credit reports but included addresses and other sensitive information.

Social Security numbers posted on Gibson, Jay-Z and others matched records in public databases.

The site, which bore an Internet suffix originally assigned to the Soviet Union, remained active Monday afternoon. It did not state how the information was obtained or why the 11 people targeted on the site were selected, describing the records only as “secret files.”

Its existence was first reported Monday by celebrity website TMZ.

FBI Director Robert Mueller and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck were among those targeted, as were celebrities Beyonce Knowles, Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.

Several of the purported credit reports appear to have been generated last week.

Representatives for each person targeted either declined to comment on the accuracy of the information that was posted, or they did not return messages seeking comment.

Several of the pages featured unflattering pictures of the celebrities or government officials whose information was posted.

The site’s page on Beck includes a taunting reference to former officer Christopher Dorner, who was killed in a shootout after killing four people over several days last month. Beck’s page included the message “#YouCantCornerTheDorner” and an image of a woman protesting police corruption.

While government officials often have to disclose details on their finances – and celebrity divorces sometimes feature public financial data – the information posted online exceeds those disclosures.

Lauer offered to throw self under the bus

NEW YORK – A report says Matt Lauer was ready to take the fall last year for troubles on NBC’s “Today” show.

The Daily Beast reported Monday that Lauer told Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBC Universal, that he would leave if Burke thought the show was better off without him. Burke dismissed the idea. The account of the behind-the-scenes drama at the troubled morning show was confirmed by show spokeswoman Megan Kopf on Monday.

“Today” has slipped behind ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the ratings, and the slide was more pronounced after Ann Curry’s messy departure as Lauer’s co-host last summer.

Many viewers blamed Lauer for Curry’s ouster, but the report said Lauer had been urging NBC to move more slowly with plans to replace her.

Tax-cheat Baldwin to avoid prison

NEW CITY, N.Y. – Stephen Baldwin will avoid jail and will have up to five years to pay $350,000 in back taxes and penalties, his lawyer said Monday.

Attorney Russell Yankwitt said he and prosecutors tentatively agreed that Baldwin, youngest of the four acting Baldwin brothers, will admit that he repeatedly failed to file his New York state tax returns in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

At Monday’s closed-door conference at the Rockland County Courthouse, “The district attorney’s office and the judge made it very clear that Mr. Baldwin will not be going to prison,” Yankwitt said. “If Mr. Baldwin can’t work, he can’t pay back his back taxes.”

– From news service reports