Former CalPERS CEO settles lawsuit

Already facing prison time, Federico Buenrostro will pay $250,000 to settle the civil lawsuit from the pay-to-play scheme he ran while leading the pension fund.

Federico Buenrostro, former chief executive of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), will pay $250,000 to settle a civil lawsuit stemming from the pay-to-play scheme that he ran during his time at the pension fund, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee on Monday.

Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, the settlement is one of the last steps in Buenrostro’s bribery case. By agreeing to pay $250,000, Buenrostro is surrendering the ill-gotten gains from his fraud, the SacBee reported.

Buenrostro pled guilty in July 2014 to criminal conspiracy charges alleging that, in 2007, he backdated documents in order to help placement agent Alfred Villalobos get paid, and then lied to cover his tracks. Villalobos used the backdated documentation to get some $14 million in fees from Apollo Global Management, which took the document as evidence of approval from CalPERS.

An investigative report done for CalPERS in the wake of the scandal showed that the pension fund likely paid millions of dollars in extra fees as a result of the actions of Buenrostro and Villalobos.

Villalobos committed suicide in January 2015, one month before he was set to stand trial for federal conspiracy and bribery charges.

Under the terms of the guilty plea in the criminal case, Buenrostro is expected to receive a five-year prison term when he is sentenced 18 May in the US District Court in San Francisco.

CalPERS is currently searching for a new CEO to replace Buenrostro’s successor Anne Stausboll, who will retire in June, as reported by Private Equity International. She has served as head of the pension plan since January 2009.