CalPERS is suing a former employee in its retirement benefit services division for taking money from 10 dormant retiree accounts, according to a complaint.
The $460.8 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, filed the lawsuit April 16 in California Superior Court in Sacramento against Gloria Najera, a 25-year veteran of CalPERS and a former associate governmental program analyst. From July 2017 until January this year, the complaint alleges, Ms. Najera took about $685,692 from the dormant accounts, depositing the money in bank accounts she controlled, or paying off her or family members' debts.
Three of the retirees whose accounts were dormant were under a conservatorship for lack of legal capacity and another was or is homeless.
CalPERS' civil lawsuit seeks to recover the stolen funds.
CalPERS officials are working with law enforcement on potential prosecution for possible criminal behavior, CalPERS' Chief Financial Officer Michael Cohen told the finance and administration committee Monday.
Further, Mr. Cohen said CalPERS has implemented additional security protocols to lock the dormant accounts during the investigation. CalPERS will return the money to the affected retirees' accounts, Mr. Cohen said, adding that CalPERS officials are conducting a forensic audit.
Ms. Najera could not be immediately reached for comment.