Former CalPERS CEO gets prison time for bribery

June 1, 2016

CalPERSThe former CEO of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has received a 4.5-year prison sentence. Federico Buenrostro accepted more than $200,000 in bribes and tried to direct investments to an associate, who later committed suicide. [Wall Street Journal]

Buenrostro admitted to accepting bribes and gifts from Alfred Villalobos, a placement agent who helped hedge funds and other investment groups win CalPERS business. Buenrostro said Villalobos would deliver much of the money in paper bags and shoe boxes at the Hyatt Hotel across from the Capitol in Sacramento.

Villalobos, who served as a CalPERS board member from 1993 to 1995, earned about $50 million between 2005 and 2009 by working as a middleman between CalPERS and private equity clients. Prosecutors charged Buenrostro and Villalobos with conspiring to create phony documents that helped Wall Street equity firm Apollo Management land a $3 billion CalPERS investment deal.

In 2014, Buenrostro pleaded guilty to fraud and bribery charges. Last year, Villalobos was just weeks away from standing trial when he killed himself in Reno, Nevada.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Buenrostro. Breyer said the case against Buenrostro was “seriously troubling” and that the former CalPERS chief committed a “spectacular breach of trust for the most venal of purposes, which is self-enrichment.”

Buenrostro has agreed to repay the state $250,000.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund with about $290 billion in assets. The pension fund manages retirement and health benefits for many government workers in SLO County.


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ThomasAquinas

SLOBIRD, your correct, we may never know Villabos’s death certificate. He may still be alive, I hope not. The unique difference with the Japanaese warrior culture is they do this ceremony out of honor. Villabos committed suicide out of being a fool, coward and complete embarrassment to his family. This is how cowards work, like a cockroach exposed to light, they scurry and run.

Now on our situation, they hire Fulks and Ochs, these guys use a MO of intimidation and innuendo. I’m not sure if I ever seen Ochs or Fulks in the daylight. Hamon, Hill, Gibson Bianchi, Marx, Gearhardt are willing to use the government, and the Tribune, to do the dirty work. Then Fulks and Ochs clean up after ’em. Remember the “plumbers” with Nixon?

We should be very appreciative of Karen, Dan and Josh and all of CCN. I know I am…..


phoenix.rising

Corruption and evil abounds in all the 7 cities, the county, CSDs…where does it stop?


Elections are the first step but each of us that comment need to be speaking out publicly on these issues. I have and with good people elected we need to do it again and see if good people can make a difference but it will take each of us to support them.


I pledge to do just that how about each of you?


dogeatdog

How about residents showing up once in a while at their council meetings, getting involved and speaking up on issues.


Voting is all well and good, but every 4 years to go vote is really not changing anything.


Go to a council meeting once a month, understand what is REALLY being done, and speak up. Then vote every 4 years when you truly know what and for whom you are voting.


Nobody wants to be involved, they are to busy then they bitch and complain about the situation.


SHOW UP or shut up!


ThomasAquinas

Mr. Dawg, been going for over 20 years here and at the County. We got the LOCSD and Bianchi and Gibson, don’t think these models came with ears. If they did, ain’t nuttin’ tween ’em…


achillesheal

As government continues to grow on the backs of the few fools in our society (me included) who continue to work and pay punitive tax rates, the theft will only continue to increase.


CalPers is a Ponzi scheme that makes Bernie Madoff look like a dime store hustler. Taxpayers pay $3 for every $1 employees contribute and are on the hook for when the eventual bomb explodes.


Per their own website https://www.calpers.ca.gov/docs/forms-publications/facts-at-a-glance.pdf, calpers is underfunded by over 30% (they have 70cents in assets for every $1 in liabilities).


Keep voting for big government people. The free stuff they give us ain’t free.


r0y

It’s actually pretty simple: if you are a government slug, sucking off the public teat, you DO NOT get to vote in any manner relating to money, taxation, fees, fines, etc. You cannot vote for people who run for a position that has authority over money, taxation, fees, fines, etc.


One can only wish. I think we’re well on our way to being like the UK’s Department of Health, where so many people are employed by it, their sheer voting numbers prevent any reality checks they so need. Once you have a big enough chunk of the electorate feeding from the public trough, that’s it. Game over. No one wants their free (or incredibly easy) ride to end… well, no one except people who actually have to work for a living.


achillesheal

We are likely there, Roy. Politicians have created a nation of subsidized beggars who will always vote themselves continued largesse at the cost of their dignity, human potential and liberty, and at the eventual cost of the republic.


kayaknut

But let me guess, he still gets to receive his lifetime pension, so after his stay at white collar Hilton, which thanks to Gov Brown’s catch and release program will be seriously reduced to maybe a year, he’ll never have to work again.


r0y

Well, to quote U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the case is “seriously troubling” and a “spectacular breach of trust for the most venal of purposes, which is self-enrichment.” — Totally sounds like that MASSIVE fine of $250,000 and WHOPPING 4½ years in prison (I’m sure there’ll be time off, early parole, etc) is TOTALLY in line with such a troubling breach of trust. Seriously.


*sad-trombone*


justbeware

Build more prisons, there’s a lot more where this came from!


what the

Sorry if I am beating a dead horse here: Does this remind you of anyone locally? Maybe a supervisor? Taking bribes from many developers (very illegal) and then voting for their projects (intensifies crime and additional crimes.) And the beautiful thing is we do not have to rely on the FPPC; there are many state and federal agencies that are very interested in prosecuting this kind of behavior. Let’s Fire Adam Hill the hard way. Hard time in the clink.


SLOBIRD

Maybe he could share a cell with the Atascadero Man of the Year, Gearhart!


T-Bone

I hope he shares a cell with AG Man of the Year Lenny Jones.


r0y

It reminds me of anyone who has the democrat party’s nomination¹. It can be said about most of the government administrators (they are legion). I have a hard time recalling when a body has more than one reasonable, thinking individual (aka a Dan Carpenter or Jim Hill type).


¹ Since we never elect anything but democrats, I cannot say if a republican or non-party person would also be so corrupt as the democrats have proven to be time and time again.


Citizen

The story is even more bizarre— domestic violence arrests, world junket, etc. http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article73749357.html


Jorge Estrada

Why should the taxpayers or individual contributors pay anyone $50 million dollars over a four period? This is not a salary or a wage, it is outrageous abuse of the public trust and speaks volumes to the mindset of those who control this lavished benefit plan.


achillesheal

Jorge:


I used to work for government until I grew a conscience and had to quit.


If the taxpayers knew the amount of money wasted and stolen from them on a daily basis every politician and government workers head would be on a spit.


TWEEKSBALMER

Tell the prison guards he was stealing from their pension fund.


ThomasAquinas

We need to understand, greed trumps character. Hamon, Hill, Gibson, Marx are just the local purveyors of government stealing. At least Villalobos took care of his guilt, suicide in the Japanese tradition is acceptable for wrong doing. Do we hope for too much if expect our local thieves to accept their punishment, for the crimes committed? Even Bernis Madoff is behind bars, our folks, nope, not with this DA Dow!!!!!


SLOBIRD

TA since the medical examiner never released any details about Alfred Villalobos’ death, how do we know how he really died. Considering the amount of money moving around and this huge scam, nothing would surprise me. 4-5 years seems like a winner Buenrostro considering the other is no longer alive! Just saying…