Alfred Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member scheduled to stand trial next month for conspiracy and bribery charges, has died in a Nevada gun club.
Mr. Villalobos was found Tuesday afternoon alone in a room at a Reno gun club, Reno Police Department spokesman Tim Broadway said Wednesday.
“This case has been ruled as an apparent suicide by the Reno Police Department pending further toxicology reports from the Washoe County medical examiner's office,” Mr. Broadway said. “He shot himself,” Mr. Broadway said.
Mr. Villalobos, founder and managing director of Arvco Capital Research LLC, was scheduled to face trial Feb. 23 in San Francisco
He was charged with conspiring with former CalPERS CEO Federico R. Buenrostro to have the $292.9 billion pension fund pay him millions of dollars in fees for a $3 billion investment into funds managed by Apollo Global Management.
Mr. Buenrostro pleaded guilty last year to steering $14 million in placement fees to Mr. Villalobos in exchange for cash bribes and gifts. Mr. Buenrostro agreed to cooperate with the government's investigation. He is scheduled to be sentenced in May, with federal prosecutors expected to recommend a reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation in the case against Mr. Villalobos.
Mr. Villalobos was a board member of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, from 1993 to 1995 before becoming a placement agent, helping investment clients win contracts with CalPERS and other pension systems.
CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco in a statement Thursday said, “We remain focused on supporting law enforcement authorities as they pursue bringing to justice those who broke the law and violated the trust placed in them by the public employees of California.”
P&I reporter Randy Diamond contributed to this story.