The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged the former CEO of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and his close personal friend with “scheming to defraud an investment firm into paying $20 million in fees to the friend’s placement agent firms.”
The SEC alleges that former CalPERS CEO Federico R. Buenrostro and his friend Alfred J.R. Villalobos fabricated documents given to New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management.
“Those documents gave Apollo the false impression that CalPERS had reviewed and signed placement agent fee disclosure letters in accordance with its established procedures. In fact, Buenrostro and Villalobos intentionally bypassed those procedures to induce Apollo to pay placement agent fees to Villalobos’s firms. The false letters bearing a fake CalPERS logo and Buenrostro’s signature were provided to Apollo, which then went ahead with the payments,” the SEC says.
John M. McCoy III, associate regional director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office said in a statement that “Buenrostro and Villalobos not only tricked Apollo into paying more than $20 million in placement agent fees it would not otherwise have paid, but also undermined procedures designed to ensure that investors like CalPERS have full disclosure of such fees.”