Federal prosecutors in San Francisco indicted former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro and former board member Alfred J.R. Villalobos on Monday afternoon as part of a years-long investigation into possible influence-peddling and corruption.
The two former officials of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System were charged with fraud and obstruction of justice, according to the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco.
The federal investigation has been probing Villalobos' alleged influence-pedding in winning lucrative contracts for private equity funds that wanted to do business with CalPERS, the country's largest public pension fund.
Villalobos and his Nevada firm earned tens of millions of dollars in commissions on the deals. Villalobos and Buenrostro also have been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the state attorney general over fraud claims.
With regard to the SEC and state charges, the two have denied any wrongdoing.
[For the record, March 18, 1:10 p.m.: This post was updated with the indictment unsealed and the specifics of the charges.]