Pension Official Says He Bribed Detroit Treasurer
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Federal authorities say an executive overseeing $200 million in real estate investments by Detroit’s municipal pension has pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe the city treasurer to get business.
The FBI says Chauncey Mayfield made the plea Thursday before U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. The 56-year-old, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is facing a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
In court, Mayfield said he bribed then-Treasurer Jeffrey Beasley and others in 2006-2008 to influence Beasley’s decisions as a trustee of Detroit’s Police and Fire Retirement System and General Retirement System.
According to Mayfield, Beasley agreed to maintain business for Mayfield’s investment company (MayfieldGentry) and to give Mayfield new pension fund business in exchange for cash others things of value.
Mayfield said the payments included $50,000 to then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Civic Fund and $60,000 for Beasley and others to take a trip to Las Vegas.
Mayfield says other bribes included $24,000 for a private plane trip to Tallahassee, Fla., and another private jet flight to Bermuda.
Because of the business directed to MayfieldGentry by Beasley, Edmunds said Mayfield earned significant investment advisory fees from Detroit’s two pension funds.
“Detroit’s pension fund officials are entrusted to care for the retirement savings of the city’s employees, including police officers and firefighters. Officials who abuse their positions of trust for personal gain will be brought to justice,” Edmunds said in a release.
A criminal indictment is pending against Beasley and against Roy Dixon, a former investment advisor to the two pension funds who paid bribes to Beasley and other officials and who embezzled millions from the funds.
In addition, a number of other defendants have been convicted in relation to the pension fund investigation, including:
- Monica Conyers — a former trustee of the General Retirement System and former member of the Detroit city council, for conspiracy to take bribes, including bribes relating to a proposed multi-million-dollar pension fund investment in Wireless Resources and a $10,000 extortion payment relating to the Police and Fire Retirement System’s investment in the Romulus Deep Injection Waste Well.
- Samuel L. Riddle — Conyers’ chief of staff, for conspiracy to commit bribery and extortion relating to the Wireless Resources and Romulus Deep Injection Well investments.
- DeDan Milton — a former trustee of Detroit’s two pension funds.
- Andrew Park — an owner of Asian Village, who paid a bribe to obtain a $2.75 million loan from Detroit’s General Retirement System.
- Derrick Miller — former chief information officer of Detroit, who accepted the bribe from Park and who took a kickback of more than $500,000 on a $44 million investment by Detroit’s two pension funds.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Labor. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Cares and David A. Gardey.
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