Adviser lied to us, says CalPERS

Published: Saturday, Apr. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Sunday, Apr. 21, 2013 - 3:23 pm

Federal officials accused a Chicago investment adviser Friday of lying to CalPERS and other clients about the size of his firm.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it charged Umesh Tandon, the president of Simran Capital Management, with lying to the California Public Employees' Retirement System about how much money he managed.

Tandon was accused of telling CalPERS in 2008 that his firm managed $200 million – the minimum needed to qualify under CalPERS' rules. In fact, the SEC said, the firm managed just $80 million.

After getting a piece of CalPERS' investment advisory business, he then bragged about his new client to win other clients, the SEC said.

Tandon settled the charges by paying about $120,000 in civil penalties. That includes a payment of $20,018 to CalPERS.

The 37-year-old Tandon, who now lives in Texas, has also been barred from the securities industry.

"Tandon deliberately undermined the CalPERS screening process," said Merri Jo Gillette, director of the SEC's Chicago office, in a prepared statement. "To make matters worse, he then used his association with CalPERS to lure other public institutional investors under false pretenses."

According to the SEC, he was hired by CalPERS in September 2009 and fired nine months later.

"We had fitness concerns" with Tandon, said Joe DeAnda, a CalPERS spokesman. He said Tandon invested CalPERS' money in the bond market.

The SEC said CalPERS entrusted Tandon with $50 million to start, in September 2009. By May 2010, he was managing $122 million for CalPERS.

Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

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