PUBLISHERS NOTE FROM ZD: Despite my personal crisis (that I am about to EXPLODE from lack of nutrition over a sustained period of days)...THIS IS AN EXTREMELY TRIUMPHANT BENCHMARK IN MY ACTIVIST LIFE: Over three years ago, I was doing an article for L.A. Weekly on the bogus Grand Ave Project and discovered PENSION MONEY was being used to fund the project. This triggered an OVERALL investigative interest I took in this topic of pension money which led to a long trail of what I considered to be the biggest corruption in the city, state and country. Now we all now about placement agents...and this story is a big step in a trail I believe leads to L.A. City Hall. And I am here to say, the main function of Villaraiogsa was to appoint Elliot Broidy to the LACERS pension board, upon being sworn in as mayor -- along with appointing Wetherly Captial's William H. Jackson (lead counsel) as Chair of the CRA. Add it all up, and you have billions lost in real estate and Wall Street while a few at the top walked way with a huge chunk of the money. (I'm happy for THEM!) HEY ANTONIO...have a nice weekend. Don't panic, too much. They won't sing your name. THEY STILL LOVE YOU!]
from: Sacramento Bee & Wall Street Journal
CalPERS probe becomes criminal investigation
By Dale Kasler
Published: Friday, Mar. 26, 2010 - 9:55 am
The CalPERS influence-peddling probe has turned into a criminal investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
The newspaper, quoting anonymous sources, said U.S. Justice Department investigators in Los Angeles are looking into whether investment decisions at public pensions funds such as CalPERS were influenced by illegal payments.
Six individuals have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with a corruption probe involving New York state's public pension fund, but so far no one has been charged in the CalPERS investigation.
CalPERS officials said today they haven't been contacted by criminal authorities.
"We aren't aware of any criminal investigation," said Brad Pacheco, spokesman for the California Public Employees' Retirement System.
CalPERS hired a Washington law firm last fall to investigate the activities of placement agents after disclosing that one agent - former CalPERS board member Alfred Villalobos - earned roughly $60 million in fees helping clients obtain investments from the big pension fund. CalPERS later revealed that the ten most prolific placement agents earned fees totaling $125 million.
The Journal said criminal investigators are scrutinizing a few individuals for their possible role in CalPERS investments totaling "many millions" of dollars.
Among those pleading guilty in the New York investigation was Elliott Broidy, a prominent Los Angeles financier whose private equity firm obtained a $50 million investment from CalPERS in 2004. Court records show that the Securities and Exchange Commission, as part of its non-criminal investigation, has issued subpoenas to Broidy demanding records of contacts he's had with Villalobos and former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro, among others. Buenrostro went to work for Villalobos after leaving CalPERS.
Both Buenrostro and Villalobos have said they've met Broidy.
[NOTE FROM ZD: ELLIOTT BROIDY WAS APPOINTED TO THE LACERS PENSION COMMISSION BY LOS ANGELES MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA. BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WERE LOST IN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS AND NOW THE CITY IS IN TOTAL MELTDOWN OVER THE WALL STREET LOSSES THAT MUST BE COVERED OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND. This trail may lead to city hall. IT SHOULD. Just a matter of how far they want to carry things out.]