Former CalPERS CEO, board member charged with fraud in bribery, influence peddling case

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A sign stands in front of California Public Employees' Retirement System building July 21, 2009 in Sacramento.

Federal officials have charged the former head of the nation's largest pension fund and one of his business associates in an influence peddling and bribery case.

A federal grand jury on Monday indicted Fred Buenrostro, the former CEO of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, and former CalPERS board member Alfred Villalobos with conspiring to commit fraud, obstruction of justice and other charges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the pair last year.

The SEC alleged the pair fabricated financial documents to dupe a prominent investment firm into paying $20 million in fees to Villalobos' firms for investing $3 billion worth of CalPERS' money.

Buenrostro was CalPERS' CEO from late 2002 through June 2008. The day after retiring from CalPERS, he began working at Villalobos' firm.

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