Former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro will have to wait another week to learn his punishment for the bribery case that rocked the big California pension fund.
Buenrostro was to have been sentenced Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Instead, sentencing was postponed Monday until May 31.
William Portanova, Buenrostro’s lawyer, said the postponement was a matter of logistics connected to Buenrostro’s stay in Sacramento County’s main jail on unrelated charges. “The movement of people in custody is a secure and complex process,” Portanova said.
Buenrostro has been in jail since late April after being arrested on charges of committing battery against a former girlfriend. Although he has finished serving his sentence in that matter, he was ordered to remain in jail after a federal magistrate judge ruled that the battery arrest violated terms of Buenrostro’s bail in the bribery case.
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Buenrostro is set to receive a prison term of up to five years after admitting he took more than $250,000 in cash, forgivable loans and other bribes from Nevada businessman Alfred Villalobos.
Federal prosecutors, in a sentencing memorandum to the court, asked U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer to hand Buenrostro a four-year term. They said Buenrostro “entered into a decade-long conspiracy of corruption, deception and deceit.”
Buenrostro, who ran CalPERS from 2002 to 2008, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy in 2014. He admitted taking bribes from Villalobos, who was seeking to influence investment policy at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
Villalobos earned roughly $50 million in commissions representing private equity firms that secured investments from CalPERS. He was found shot to death in Reno in January 2015 in a case that police ruled a suicide.