Former CalPERS board member Alfred R. Villalobos on Tuesday denied charges in a lawsuit filed last week by California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. that he improperly provided gifts and gratuities to CalPERS officials to influence the system’s investment decisions.
“We are very disappointed that the attorney general proceeded in this fashion, without permitting us to respond beforehand to these serious allegations and to clarify significant factual errors on his part,” Mr. Villalobos said in a statement.
Mr. Villalobos did not specify what the errors were; he did not return messages left with his office seeking further details.
Mr. Villalobos’ placement agent firm, ARVCO Capital Research, made more than $47 million in fees helping money manager clients win contracts with the $209.1 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento.
“We have cooperated with the attorney general’s office and all other federal and state regulatory agencies since we learned of this investigation,” Mr. Villalobos said in the statement.
Mr. Brown’s office issued a statement later Tuesday disputing Mr. Villalobos’ claims of cooperation.
“ARVCO complied with a state subpoena to produce documents, but Villalobos asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify against himself,” Mr. Brown said in the statement.
The civil lawsuit filed in California Superior Court against ARVCO, Mr. Villalobos and Federico R. Buenrostro Jr., former CalPERS executive director, seeks $70 million in restitution and $25 million in penalties. Mr. Buenrostro did not return phone calls seeking comment by press time.
“We look forward to presenting the facts surrounding ARVCO’s work on behalf of clients and are confident that once all the facts are presented, ARVCO, Mr. Villalobos and Mr. Buenrostro will be completely vindicated,” Mr. Villalobos said in his statement.