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Ex-CalPERS CEO ‘ready to plead guilty’ to fraud over $3bn buyout fund commitments

1 Jul 2014

CalPERS Federico BuenrostroThe former chief executive of the largest US public pension fund reportedly plans to plead guilty to charges he fabricated placement agent documents for $3bn of private equity commitments.

Fred Buenrostro, pictured, had previously pledged to fight the charges, but now intends to co-operate with the prosecution against co-defendant Alfred Villalobos according to the former’s lawyer, who spoke to Reuters.

The lawyer, William Portanova, said, “Sometimes it takes a long time for people to own up to what they were trying to pretend never happened.

“It’s never too late to do the right thing.”

Buenrostro, who was in charge of CalPERS between 2002 and 2008, and former CalPERS board member Villalobos “covered up and lied to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the authenticity of the investor disclosure letters” according to federal prosecutors in California.

The pair allegedly forged a letter from the pension fund to Apollo Global Management, which was acting as a placement agent, after the buyout house started requiring investor disclosure letters from LPs before payment of fees in 2007.

That letter was one of a series created by the pair according to prosecutors.

Buenrostro joined Villalobos’ placement agency Arvco the same day he retired from CalPERS in 2008.

Apollo has not been charged with any crime and has co-operated fully with investigators.

Buenrostro and Villalobos have been charged with engaging in a false scheme against the US and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in a grand jury indictment announced by US Attorney Melinda Haag in San Francisco.

Buenrostro’s jury trial had been set to begin on July 8. He is now expected to enter a plea on July 11.

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