Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, Springfield, has filed a civil lawsuit against one of its former board trustees, a former attorney for the system and others to recoup damages from alleged kickbacks that are also part of ongoing criminal corruption charges, according to a news release issued by the $35 billion pension plan.
The suit, filed Jan. 5 in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, alleges that actions by former trustee Stuart Levine - along with former TRS lawyer Steven Loren; Mr. Loren's former law firm, Gardner, Carton & Douglas; and Joseph Cari, a former partner and director of HealthpointCapital LLC, in which TRS previously invested - constituted a "criminal breach of fiduciary duty," according to the release.
"(Mr.) Levine used his position and influence on the TRS board ... to funnel TRS pension funds to certain investment management firms in exchange for hundred of thousands of dollars in illegal 'finder's' fees and kickbacks," the suit said. "(Messrs.) Loren, Cari and others assisted in perpetrating and concealing the criminal scheme."
"We want to recover all amounts TRS and our members are rightfully due as a result of this venal, criminal scheme," TRS Executive Director Jon Bauman said in the release. He could not be reached for comment.
A copy of the lawsuit could not be obtained by press time.