Key figure in CalPERS corruption case dies
The Sacramento Bee reported Jan. 14 that Alfred Villalobos, accused of bribing former CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Fred Buenrostro to influence the fund’s business decisions, has died.
The article said one of Villalobos’ defense attorneys confirmed the death on Jan. 13.
Lawyers for Villalobos, a 71-year-old Nevada businessman and former member of the CalPERS Board of Administration, said they were scheduled on Jan. 14 to ask a federal judge to delay Villalobos' trial on bribery charges because of their client's ill health.
In a court filing earlier this week, the paper reported attorney Bruce Funk said, "Mr. Villalobos is not physically or mentally able to participate in his defense or to even sit through a trial."
The trial was supposed to begin Feb. 23 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
After leaving his position as CalPERS board member, Villalobos became a “placement agent” and allegedly steering CalPERS investment dollars to Villalobos’ private equity clients.
Prosecutors said Villalobos gave Buenrostro $200,000 in cash, paid for his wedding and took him on a worldwide junket in 2006. Buenrostro went to work for Villalobos' firm, Arvco Capital, after he left CalPERS in 2008, prosecutors said.
Villalobos, who was out on bond, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was facing 30 years in prison.
He earned around $50 million in commissions while procuring billions of dollars worth of pension fund deals for Apollo Global Management and other private equity firms, prosecutors said.
Last year, Buenrostro pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Villalobos, including $200,000 in cash stuffed in paper bags and a shoebox. He faces a five-year prison term and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 13.