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Ex-Detroit Treasurer Beasley Charged With Taking Bribes

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Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The former treasurer of Detroit was charged by the U.S. with taking bribes and kickbacks in exchange for approving investments for city pension funds.

Jeffrey Beasley, 43, was charged with six counts in an indictment unsealed today in connection with $200 million in investments in two pension funds, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement.

Beasley, who was a member of the boards of trustees for the two funds, conspired with others from 2006 to 2008 to accept bribes in the form of cash, travel, meals, golf clubs, gambling money, Las Vegas concert tickets and private-plane flights, according to the release. The funds lost more than $84 million from investments associated with Beasley’s conspiracy, prosecutors said.

“Employees of the city of Detroit are entitled to honest services from the trustees of their pension funds,” McQuade said in the release.

Beasley faces a prison sentence of more than 20 years on each of the six counts of extortion, conspiracy and wire fraud, according to the statement. He might be fined $250,000 for each count and forfeit more than $225,000 in unlawful payments, according to the statement.

Walter J. Piszczatowski, Beasley’s lawyer, didn’t immediately reply to messages seeking comment on the charges.

Demand for $250,000

Beasley, at a Detroit restaurant in 2007, demanded $250,000 from the owner of an unidentified company to win the pension boards’ support for the company’s proposal to obtain $44 million in financing from the funds, according to the indictment.

Beasley was appointed treasurer by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was indicted by the U.S. in 2010 on charges including bribery, extortion and fraud.

Kilpatrick’s trial is scheduled for September. Beasley left his position as treasurer in 2008, after Kilpatrick’s resignation.

The case is U.S. v. Beasley, 2:12-cr-20030, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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