Pension Adviser Settles N.Y. Kickback Case

Jul 2 2009 | 12:15pm ET

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has won another settlement in the pay-to-play scandal at the state’s public pension fund that has engulfed several high profile alterative investments firm.

Pacific Corporate Group Holdings, a La Jolla, Calif.-based pension adviser, agreed to pay $2 million in restitution to the New York State Common Retirement Fund and adopt Cuomo’s code of conduct. In exchange, the firm will not face civil or criminal charges. PCG was not fined.

Cuomo’s investigation found that a PCG affiliate, PCG Corporate Partners Advisors II, was part of a joint venture that paid kickbacks to win a $750 million mandate from the New York fund.

PCG is the first pension adviser to settle and adopt Cuomo’s code, but not the first to settle. Both the Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings have paid tens of millions of dollars to end the investigation and have adopted the code after both were found to have used placement agents in the pay-to-play scheme.

Two men have already pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the case, and Cuomo has indicted the CRF’s former chief investment officer and a former top adviser to ex-state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

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