May 8, 2021

Will SEC, FBI and DOJ prosecute any hedge fund and private equity looting of Rhode Island pension?

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960x0By Edward Siedle From Forbes

The FBI, SEC and DOJ should further investigate and prosecute any potential hedge fund and private equity looting of Rhode Island pension.

Why has 40 percent of the assets of the tax-exempt Rhode Island state pension been invested offshore in high-cost, high-risk hedge and private equity funds that permit billionaire fund managers to avoid U.S. taxes and “mystery” investors to potentially profit at the expense of the state pension—all in secrecy? Rhode Islanders want to know.

The Rhode Island Retired Teachers Association (RIRTA) retained me recently to bring potential civil and criminal malfeasance related to the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI) that I have investigated to the attention of the FBI, SEC and DOJ for both further investigation and possible prosecution. Last week I sent a letter to key officials at these agencies on RIRTA’s behalf. While RIRTA works to safeguard retirement benefits for Rhode Island educators, the potential violations of law discussed in this letter impact all stakeholders in ERSRI, including participants and taxpayers.

By way of background, I have completed two extensive investigations of the $7.4 billion ERSRI.

The first, entitled Rhode Island Pension Reform: Wall Street’s License to Steal was commissioned by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 94 (Rhode Island’s largest public employee union representing more than 10,000 state, city, town and school department employees) and completed October 17, 2013.

The second, entitled Double Trouble: Wall Street Secrecy Conceals Preventable Pension Losses in Rhode Island was made possible through donations by 350 individual “crowdfunders”—with no contribution by organized labor and completed June 5, 2015. A petition to have the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigate the potential violations of law related to ERSRI identified in the Double Trouble report posted on by Concerned RI Taxpayers has been signed by almost 400 individuals to date.

Each of these forensic investigations includes details regarding certain potential civil and criminal violations of law by Wall Street investment managers and advisers managing or overseeing ERSRI’s assets—potential wrongdoing which I will discuss further at link below.

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