Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

California School Fiscal Services

Providing comprehensive business office and consulting services to K-12 traditional schools and charters



Former CalPERS chief admits to receiving $200,000 in bribes in paper bag, shoebox

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Wow! Just another example of why we should never say "I've heard it all!"


Notwithstanding that crime itself, I find a couple of things interesting here. First, I did have to laugh when I read that the payoff occurred at the Downtown Hyatt Sacramento. I hope it didn't coincide with a SSC workshop! Secondly, I also found it comical that the potential fines equal the amount he received in bribes. (If you believe that is all he received) Last, Buenrostro may have to forfeit part of his own PERS pension. Does anyone really believe that he doesn't have his "real" retirement fund in another shoe box somewhere???


Can we still say crime doesn't pay these days?





By Dale Kasler

[email protected] By Dale Kasler The Sacramento Bee Last modified: 2014-07-11T20:02:34Z Published: Friday, Jul. 11, 2014


SAN FRANCISCO -- The first two payments were made in paper bags. The last installment came in a shoebox. The handoffs all came at a Sacramento hotel near the Capitol.


In a stunning admission covering years of corruption, the former chief executive of CalPERS said Friday he accepted $200,000 in cash, along with a series of other bribes, from a Lake Tahoe businessman who was attempting to influence billions of dollars in pension fund investment decisions.


Fred Buenrostro, who ran the nation’s largest public pension fund from 2002 to 2008, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery and fraud. He has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors as they pursue charges against his longtime friend, Nevada businessman Alfred Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member.


Buenrostro, 64, admitted that Villalobos plied him with casino chips and a trip around the world, plus a high-paying job with his investment firm after leaving CalPERS. He also admitted working with Villalobos to create phony documents to ensure that Villalobos earned his multimillion-dollar fees representing a Wall Street private equity firm seeking CalPERS investments.


Most of those allegations had been aired publicly already. What was new Friday was the blockbuster admission that Buenrostro took $200,000 in cash from Villalobos. In his written plea agreement, Buenrostro said Villalobos paid him in three installments in 2007, “all of which was delivered directly to me in the Hyatt hotel in downtown Sacramento across from the Capitol.”


According to Buenrostro, Villalobos told him to be careful how he deposited the cash in order to avoid detection by banking authorities. “Villalobos told me to be sure to ‘shuffle’ the currency before making any deposit, as the bills were new and appeared to be in sequential order,” Buenrostro wrote.


Later, after he’d left CalPERS and the investigation into their relationship gained momentum, Buenrostro said he accepted an additional $50,000 from Villalobos, paid by check.


The former CEO’s guilty plea is the latest chapter in a corruption scandal that first surfaced in 2009 at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Documents showed that Villalobos, a former deputy mayor of Los Angeles, had earned $50 million helping his Wall Street clients win investments from CalPERS over several years.


“We condemn the misconduct and ethical breaches admitted today by Mr. Buenrostro,” CalPERS said in a prepared statement. “CalPERS looks forward to justice being served in this case and for the individuals involved to be held accountable for their actions.”


After years of denying any wrongdoing, Buenrostro faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced Jan. 7, 2015. He remains free on bond.“


There is no question that the chickens have come home to roost for Mr. Buenrostro,” said his lawyer, William Portanova of Sacramento, after a brief court hearing. “He is starting a new chapter in his life. He is a 64-year-old man who is ready to tell all.” Buenrostro declined comment as he left the courtroom.


His old friend Villalobos will continue to fight charges filed in the case, said Villalobos’ defense attorney Bruce Funk.


“We don’t think there’s any truthful information (Buenrostro) could give that could affect Mr. Villalobos,” Funk said after the court hearing.


The criminal trial was supposed to begin earlier this week with jury selection. Instead, it has been postponed, probably until the fall. Villalobos, 70, is in poor health and wasn’t in court Friday. He listened to the proceedings by phone.


Buenrostro, in his plea agreement, admitted taking bribes large and small. He let Villalobos host and pay for his 2004 wedding at Lake Tahoe. Villalobos took Buenrostro and a CalPERS board member on a 2006 worldwide trip (The member isn’t identified in the plea agreement, but a state lawsuit filed in 2010 identified him as Charles Valdes, who has since left the board).


Villalobos paid for his rooms at two Tahoe casinos, Harveys and Harrah’s. And Villalobos delivered on a promise of a $25,000-a-month job for Buenrostro after the CEO left CalPERS in 2008. The job ended two years later, about the time Villalobos and his company filed for bankruptcy.


In 2005, Buenrostro said he watched Villalobos give casino chips to certain CalPERS board members and to Buenrostro’s wife. At the time, CalPERS was considering awarding a pharmacy contract to a health care company.


Buenrostro didn’t identify the company, and said the board members are no longer at CalPERS. In 2011, CalPERS fired a New Jersey drug-distributor, Medco Health Solutions, after it was revealed that Medco paid Villalobos about $4 million to help win a contract to supply pharmaceuticals to CalPERS members. The firm, which was later sold, paid a $2.7 million fine to settle a state investigation but didn’t admit any wrongdoing.


In addition, Buenrostro said he worked with Villalobos to “cover up the evidence of our corrupt relationship by concealing and destroying records.” In 2010, after he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during questioning by Securities and Exchange Commission investigators, Buenrostro said he received a $50,000 check from Villalobos.


Buenrostro said the $50,000 was supposedly a loan, but Villalobos told him he probably wouldn’t have to repay it.


If Buenrostro had gone to trial and been convicted on all charges, he was facing up to 40 years in prison. The conspiracy charge to which he admitted carries a five-year maximum penalty. So far the prosecutors haven’t made any sentencing recommendation, but agreed to ask for a reduced sentence based on Buenrostro’s “truthful cooperation,” said his lawyer Portanova. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will sentence him.


The original indictment was fairly narrow. It focused mainly on a series of letters Buenrostro said he created on CalPERS stationery at Villalobos’ behest.


Villalobos’ most important client, Apollo Global Management, had demanded disclosure letters in which the pension fund said it realized that Villalobos would earn fees from Apollo if the firm got CalPERS investments. When he couldn’t get a CalPERS investment officer to sign a disclosure letter, Villalobos turned to Buenrostro, who put together the letters on the pension fund’s stationary, according to the plea agreement.


Buenrostro said no one at CalPERS saw the letters, which Villalobos then mailed to Apollo. The firm got $3 billion of CalPERS’ money in 2007 and 2008, and Villalobos earned fees of $14 million. Apollo has said it wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing.


An investigative report commissioned by CalPERS said it was unlikely that Villalobos and Buenrostro were able to steer investment dollars to Villalobos’ clients. But the report, by Washington, D.C., securities attorney Philip Khinda, said Villalobos’ clients probably charged CalPERS millions of dollars in extra investment-management fees to compensate for the money they paid Villalobos.


The guilty plea marked the latest chapter in the downfall of Buenrostro, a longtime state employee and former deputy director of the state Department of Personnel Administration who became CalPERS CEO in 2002.


Because of his guilty plea to a felony, Buenrostro could have to forfeit a portion of his CalPERS pension, said fund spokesman Brad Pacheco. The amount is to be determined, he said.

Categories: Lawsuits

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply stone island
2:09 AM on December 23, 2020 
I want to point out my affection for your generosity giving support to folks who require guidance on this one area of interest. Your very own dedication to getting the solution all over appeared to be amazingly helpful and has constantly enabled people much like me to achieve their targets. The valuable tips and hints signifies this much to me and still more to my office workers. With thanks; from everyone of us.
stone island
Reply yeezy
2:07 AM on December 23, 2020 
I really wanted to make a small note in order to thank you for all the splendid items you are sharing at this website. My incredibly long internet lookup has now been honored with good ideas to talk about with my guests. I 'd believe that we readers are quite fortunate to exist in a decent network with very many awesome people with helpful suggestions. I feel very blessed to have seen your entire site and look forward to tons of more brilliant times reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.
Reply curry shoes
2:06 AM on December 23, 2020 
I must express my thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular setting. Right after researching throughout the the web and finding ways which are not helpful, I figured my entire life was well over. Living without the presence of approaches to the problems you have fixed by way of your good short post is a critical case, as well as the ones which may have badly damaged my career if I had not discovered your web page. The expertise and kindness in taking care of every aspect was very helpful. I am not sure what I would've done if I had not come upon such a stuff like this. It's possible to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for the professional and sensible help. I will not think twice to recommend your site to anybody who ought to have guidance about this subject.
curry shoes
Reply kobe shoes
10:26 PM on December 22, 2020 
Thank you a lot for providing individuals with remarkably superb possiblity to read in detail from this web site. It can be so terrific and as well , jam-packed with amusement for me personally and my office co-workers to search your site at a minimum 3 times weekly to study the newest guides you have got. And of course, I'm just at all times impressed with the outstanding tips and hints served by you. Certain 2 tips on this page are unequivocally the finest we've had.
kobe shoes
Reply yeezy
10:25 PM on December 22, 2020 
I have to voice my respect for your generosity supporting individuals who need help on this one content. Your special dedication to getting the message up and down had become especially interesting and has usually permitted regular people just like me to attain their endeavors. Your own interesting advice signifies much a person like me and even further to my office workers. Thank you; from all of us.
Reply supreme clothing
10:25 PM on December 22, 2020 
I wanted to draft you one very small word just to thank you so much again on your awesome secrets you've shown above. This is simply tremendously open-handed of you to present easily exactly what a lot of people might have offered as an electronic book to generate some profit for their own end, precisely seeing that you might well have tried it in the event you decided. These techniques likewise served to be the great way to fully grasp other individuals have the same zeal similar to my very own to figure out very much more concerning this condition. I know there are thousands of more fun instances up front for many who browse through your site.
supreme clothing
Reply kenzo
10:25 PM on December 22, 2020 
I needed to post you one little note to say thank you the moment again for all the extraordinary strategies you've documented in this case. It is certainly seriously generous with people like you to grant unreservedly all a few individuals would have advertised for an ebook to get some bucks for themselves, specifically considering that you could possibly have done it in case you decided. These good ideas likewise acted to become a fantastic way to comprehend other people have the identical passion the same as my personal own to find out a whole lot more with regard to this problem. I'm sure there are some more fun opportunities ahead for individuals who read your site.
Reply kd 10
10:25 PM on December 22, 2020 
I precisely wanted to thank you very much all over again. I do not know the things that I would've taken care of without the type of hints revealed by you directly on such a field. It became a real frightening scenario in my position, however , taking note of your expert style you handled the issue forced me to leap for happiness. I will be thankful for your assistance and as well , hope you know what an amazing job you're carrying out instructing some other people through your web site. I know that you have never come across all of us.
kd 10
Reply supreme hoodie
10:25 PM on December 22, 2020 
Thank you so much for providing individuals with such a spectacular possiblity to read critical reviews from this site. It's usually very ideal plus stuffed with a lot of fun for me and my office colleagues to search your blog at a minimum 3 times in a week to read through the fresh things you have got. And definitely, I am certainly fulfilled with all the superb things you serve. Some two points in this article are honestly the most efficient we have all ever had.
supreme hoodie
Reply air jordan
10:24 PM on December 22, 2020 
I intended to draft you the very little observation to be able to say thanks over again about the stunning strategies you've featured here. It was quite unbelievably generous of you to grant unhampered what exactly a few people would have sold for an ebook in order to make some bucks on their own, particularly considering the fact that you could possibly have done it if you decided. Those thoughts likewise served to be the great way to understand that other people have similar zeal similar to my personal own to realize a little more in regard to this issue. Certainly there are thousands of more fun sessions up front for folks who read your site.
air jordan
Reply Direct Lenders
10:18 PM on December 22, 2020 
payday loan
Reply moncler
3:40 PM on December 22, 2020 
A lot of thanks for your entire work on this web page. My niece really likes engaging in investigation and it's easy to understand why. Almost all notice all concerning the compelling way you convey sensible tactics via your website and as well as cause contribution from some others on the theme so our own daughter is without a doubt studying a whole lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year. You're the one carrying out a powerful job.
Reply yeezy boost
3:40 PM on December 22, 2020 
I am commenting to make you know what a magnificent discovery my cousin's daughter gained reading through your web site. She figured out plenty of pieces, which include what it's like to possess a wonderful teaching nature to let a number of people completely fully grasp various complex issues. You really surpassed her expected results. I appreciate you for distributing such interesting, trusted, educational as well as easy tips on your topic to Emily.
yeezy boost
Reply giannis shoes
3:39 PM on December 22, 2020 
A lot of thanks for all your valuable labor on this web page. My mom delights in participating in internet research and it's obvious why. My partner and i learn all about the powerful medium you convey both interesting and useful techniques via the website and therefore recommend contribution from other ones on that area and our simple princess is truly studying so much. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You're the one carrying out a first class job.
giannis shoes
Reply kd shoes
3:36 PM on December 22, 2020 
I must express my admiration for your kindness supporting all those that require help on your issue. Your very own commitment to getting the message throughout has been amazingly valuable and has truly made women like me to get to their ambitions. Your own useful guide implies much a person like me and further more to my colleagues. Regards; from everyone of us.
kd shoes
Reply supreme clothing
3:36 PM on December 22, 2020 
A lot of thanks for your own efforts on this website. Ellie take interest in going through investigation and it's really easy to see why. Almost all know all concerning the lively form you convey priceless guidelines via your website and as well improve response from visitors on the concept plus our own daughter is studying a lot of things. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You're the one performing a great job.
supreme clothing
Reply Pauljeaky
1:51 AM on December 22, 2020 
reputable indian pharmacies ivermectin 3 tadalafil 2.5 mg daily purchase zanaflex online prozac online uk
Reply Best Online Loans
7:40 PM on December 21, 2020 
2000 payday loan
Reply off white jordan 1
6:43 PM on December 21, 2020 
I wanted to post you one very small observation so as to thank you very much yet again for all the gorgeous tips you have provided above. It is so remarkably generous of you to make unreservedly exactly what a lot of people could have marketed as an e book to end up making some dough for their own end, particularly now that you could possibly have done it if you ever wanted. These ideas also worked to be the easy way to be certain that other people online have the same dream just as my own to figure out somewhat more with respect to this problem. Certainly there are lots of more pleasurable situations in the future for people who start reading your blog post.
off white jordan 1
Reply golden goose
6:42 PM on December 21, 2020 
Needed to write you that little bit of note just to say thanks the moment again just for the pretty strategies you have documented on this website. It has been quite remarkably generous with people like you in giving unhampered just what a lot of people might have distributed as an e book to get some cash for themselves, most notably now that you might well have tried it if you considered necessary. These concepts additionally worked like a fantastic way to be sure that the rest have the same interest just like mine to know the truth whole lot more on the topic of this issue. I think there are some more pleasant situations in the future for many who check out your blog post.
golden goose