This is not a particularly new story, but if you are depending on the Calpers (California Public Employees Retirement System) to pay for your retirement, you should follow it closely.
The Associated Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee and now The Wall Street Journal all have printed the tale of Federico R. Beunrostro Jr., the former chief executive of Calpers who has been indicted on charges of ripping off the $257 billion pension fund to help a pal get rich on fees collected from Apollo Global Management LLC, a private equity group which was managing some of Calpers’ money.
The friend of Buenrostro who allegedly enriched himself was one Alfred J. Villalobos, who was a “placement agent” for Calpers.
“In exchange for a fee,” says The Wall Street Journal, “these agents act as middlemen between pensions and private equity with the aim of identifying and vetting the firms charged with managing the pension funds’ money.”
In a 13-page federal indictment alleges that Buenrostro and Villalobos fabricated letters in 2008 that duped Apollo into paying $14 million in fees to Villalobos’ company Arvco Capital Research LLC.
You may know Villalobos as a former mayor of Los Angeles who once was a member of the Calpers board.
That seems pretty cozy, but even cozier is the fact that after he retired from Calpers in 2008, Buenrostro went to work for Villalobos at Arvco the very next day, according to the indictment.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and the Postal Service Inspection Service all investigated in the case, leading to the indictment.
Apollo GlobalManagement is not accused in the indictment. Rather, it was one of the victims.
Both defendants say they are not guilty.