Donna Moreno, former payroll manager at George B. Buck Inc. and Buck Consultants, pleaded guilty last week in federal court to embezzling more than $563,000 from the Buck retirement fund between October 1989 and November 1994. According to the Labor Department's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, which investigated the matter, Ms. Moreno fraudulently prepared pension checks made out to deceased and former participants. She then cashed the checks against the company's petty cash fund, which she also controlled. Ms. Moreno is scheduled to be sentenced in November and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A Buck spokesman had no comment.
San Bernardino (Calif.) County Employees' Retirement Association, with $2.4 billion in assets, selected Pioneer Group, Boston Co. Asset Management and Rosenberg Institutional Equity Management as finalists in a search for a small-cap equity value manager. About $70 million will be allocated, and a decision could come early in September. Most of the money for the new hire will come from a portfolio managed by Van Deventer & Hoch, whose midcap equity mandate was dropped as a result of a restructuring. A spokesman for Van Deventer & Hoch said fund officials have asked the firm to participate in a search, now under way, for a large-cap value manager.
Asset Strategy Consulting is assisting.