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Top official in New York pension scam released from jail

12 Dec 2012

Former New York state pension fund executive Alan Hevesi has been released from jail after serving 20 months of a maximum four-year term for his part in a corruption scandal at the fund.

The 72-year-old, pictured, was the highest-placed official convicted of involvement in a “pay-to-play” scam at the $132bn New York State Common Retirement Fund, which was used to make commitments in exchange for kickbacks from GPs.

Hevesi accepted more than $1m of bribes from Tel Aviv-based private equity firm Markstone Capital in return for a $250m commitment to its Israel-focused venture capital fund.

Markstone chairman Elliott Broidy resigned from the firm in late 2009.

Hevesi was granted parole following a hearing last month in which he told the board he “got arrogant” and felt he was “entitled” to “perks”, Reuters reported.

He said that rubbing shoulders with Wall Street billionaires and heads of state had made him become “a big shot” in his “own head”, it added.

Hevesi, who had a 35-year career in public office, resigned as state comptroller in 2006 after pleading guilty to defrauding the government by using a state employee to chauffeur his wife.

He was spared jail for that crime but agreed never to seek elected office again.

The corruption probe was launched by the state’s current governor Andrew Cuomo when he was New York attorney general.

He has previously said the four-year investigation recovered $170m.

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