Another Web of Corruption Uncovered–Will likely cost Taxpayers the Tens of Millions of Dollars Scammed and Lost.

Sac Bee reports: Web of corruption described in CalPERS bribery scandal
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2011

The bribery scandal at CalPERS likely cost the pension fund tens of millions of dollars in inflated fees, a lawyer hired by CalPERS to investigate the case said Monday. [Readers should remember we, the taxpayers are on the hook for the lost dollars which are part of the promise politicians made to CalPERS members with our money, for their benefits. That’s the rub!]

Washington lawyer Philip Khinda, in a report to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System board, said former “placement agent” Alfred Villalobos corrupted top pension fund officials, notably former Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro, to steer investments to his clients.
Click here to read more.

John Seiler at Cal Watch Dog asks: How much more of this are Californians going to take? Will another tax increase be needed?

L.A. Times Reports:

In a scathing report, a former chief executive of the California public employee pension fund was accused of pressuring subordinates to invest billions of dollars of pension money with politically connected firms.

A 17-month investigation also found that Federico Buenrostro Jr. — along with former pension fund board members Charles Valdes and Kurato Shimada — strong-armed a benefits firm to pay more than $4 million in fees to consultant Alfred J.R. Villalobos, who later hired Buenrostro.

The report, prepared for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System by Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson, comes amid widening attacks on public employee pension funds in California, Wisconsin, Iowa and other states for providing lavish benefits that cash-strapped governments can no longer afford.

Click here to read more.

Steven Greenhut posted this on CalWatchDog.com’s Blog: L’Aristocracy de CalPERS

As he notes in his post, it’s long but well worth the time if you handle the darkness of truth told. I suggest you read the comments at the end of the post on CalWatchDog’s blog. I hope someone posts a reply to the public employee retiree who gives the pat excuse and rational that it’s not their fault and it’s only fair given what someone of their same education background gets in the private sector. First, that’s a myth, second, if it were true, public servants were supposedly sacrificing the “higher” pay and benefits of the private sector to serve and in return would be assured a modest but secure pension. Ha! We have been had! A link to CalWatchDog.com is at the bottom of the video. Click here to read the comments on CalWatchDog’s Blog.

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Dow 28,000,000: The Unbelievable Expectations of California’s Pension System Because Calpers failed to disclose pension costs and liabilities 10 years ago, taxpayers will be on the hook for hundreds of billions.

By DAVID CRANE

In 1999 then California Governor Gray Davis signed into law a bill that represented the largest issuance of non-voter-approved debt in the state’s history. The bill SB 400 granted billions of dollars in retroactive pension boosts to state employees, allowing retirements as young as age 50 with lifetime pensions of up to 90% of final year salaries. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System sold the pension boost to the state legislature by promising that “no increase over current employer contributions is needed for these benefit improvements” and that Calpers would “remain fully funded.” They also claimed that enhanced pensions would not cost taxpayers “a dime” because investment bets would cover the expense.

What Calpers failed to disclose, however, was that (1) the state budget was on the hook for shortfalls should actual investment returns fall short of assumed investment returns, (2) those assumed investment returns implicitly projected the Dow Jones would reach roughly 25,000 by 2009 and 28,000,000 by 2099, unrealistic to say the least (3) shortfalls could turn out to be hundreds of billions of dollars, (4) Calpers’s own employees would benefit from the pension increases and (5) members of Calpers’s board had received contributions from the public employee unions who would benefit from the legislation. Had such a flagrant case of non-disclosure occurred in the private sector, even a sleepy SEC and US Attorney would have noticed.

Eleven years later, things haven’t turned out as Calpers promised. While state employees have been big winners from the bet, the state budget has been, and will continue to be, a huge loser. Far from being “fully funded” as promised, Calpers has already required $15 billion more from the state budget than projected in 1999 and $3.5 billion is budgeted for this year, a figure that is more than five times the expense projected by the state legislature in its SB 400 analysis. Pensions are crowding out important programs like higher education, parks and health care, and the state will continue to whack away at those programs because the legislature refuses Governor Schwarzenegger’s request to repeal SB 400 for new employees.

The state’s pension funds are still trying to dupe taxpayers. In response to a recent Stanford University study that concluded California’s pension funds are understating liabilities by $400 billion, California’s pension funds set up “spin” websites and attacked the study as “shoddy” and “faulty.”
Click here to read the full article.

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Calpers Loses 23% of Taxpayer Guaranteed Funds in One Year, Voters say no to Imposters, and U.S. Commerce Battles for our Future: Sat. Oct 30, 2009

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN Digital Talk Radio, & on
CRNtalk.com CRN 1
Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

New York Congressional Race District 23 is a revolt of Republican registered voters against their own party. They want limited government and are demonstrating to their party officials and leaders, they mean business. Scott Wheeler, Executive Director of the National Republican Trust
drops in for a quick update on the battle that illustrates for Republican Party bosses what their voters want and what constitutes a deal breaker.

As the Fight Over Global Warming Heats Up, so does growing skepticism and concern over flaws in the climate change models and so does the frenzy of the proponents for cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate, to ram policy through without delay. Is it really a crisis? If so, what’s the crisis?

Tom Borelli, formidable advocate for free enterprise, editor of FreeEnterpriser.com and Director of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research, joins us to talk about the proposed cap-and-trade policy, and what is shaping up as an epic battle between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to defeat it, and the Obama Administration’s relentless pursuit to ram it through.

Who are the players? Who are the companies that have jumped ship and joined with Obama’s team? Who wins and who loses if the U.S. Chamber of Commerce loses?

Pension Funds for Public Employees Lost $600 Billion Last Year (fiscal year ended June 30), and taxpayers are on the hook. Calpers’losses, with funds guaranteed by the taxpayers, are 9.4% of that $600 billion dollars.

Marcia Fritz, President of Californians for Pension Reform, joins us to discuss the unbelievable, corrupt, costly abuse of public trust and the public’s legal obligation to cover the losses. We’ll look at how Calpers directors have played fast and loose, taken extreme and hazardous risks on investments, and incurred massive losses, down $56.2 billion in one year, 23% of the value, with funds guaranteed by taxpayers.

Worse, in a pay to play racket, former Calpers board member reaped $50 million in fees for arranging the “winning investments.” Calpers is an example for what has taken place across the country. Some would call it betrayal, graft, abuse and theft by public employee fund managers but “Calpers’ CIO says there’s no moral hazard in fund’s guarantee by taxpayers.
Ms Fritz will talk with us on how to put the brakes on this now.

The lines are open. I hope you put us on your calendar, tune in, give us a call, and join us for hot talk radio, Saturday at 10AM PT, one fast hour on CRN 1
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