Ex-Calpers Executive Facing Corruption Trial Dies in Reno

Alfred Villalobos, an former California Public Employees’ Retirement System board member scheduled to stand trial next month for conspiracy and bribery charges, has died in a Nevada gun club.

He was found yesterday afternoon alone in a room at a Reno gun club, Reno Police Department spokesman Tim Broadway said today.

Police are investigating Villalobos’s death as a suicide, Broadway said. “He shot himself,” the police spokesman said.

Villalobos, founder and managing director of Arvco Capital Research LLC, was scheduled to face trial February 23 in San Francisco. He was charged with conspiring with former Calpers Chief Executive Officer Federico Buenrostro to trick the pension fund into paying millions of dollars in fees for a $3 billion investment into funds managed by Apollo Global Management LLC.

Buenrostro pleaded guilty last year to steering $14 million in placement fees to Villalobos in exchange for cash bribes and gifts. Buenrostro agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation.

Villalobos had frequent visits to the emergency room over the past five months as his health deteriorated, his lawyer, Bruce Funk, said in Jan. 12 court filings seeking to postpone the trial. His client wasn’t physically or mentally able to participate in his defense or sit through a trial, Funk said.

“I’m confirming he passed away,” Funk said today in a phone interview, declining to comment on the circumstances of Villalobos’s death. Court filings indicated Villalobos had a heart condition and neurological disease, Funk said.

Villalobos was first charged in 2013 with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and mail and wire fraud conspiracy. In August he was indicted on a new charge of conspiracy to commit bribery.

The case is U.S. v. Villalobos, 13-cr-00169, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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