- Oct 13, 2006
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Slightly Liberal
Detroit pensions: Bribes, a $5,000 poker chip and a big financial hole - Aug. 28, 2013
Man, I've been partying with the wrong crowd. Government pension trustees and city council is apparently where it's at. And just imagine if they had managed to not go bankrupt, half this stuff would have likely gone on indefinitely. Makes you wonder how may cities are getting away with such things every day. What's amazing is we should look to government for regulation, setting the rules of the game like a referee, beyond reproach. Instead we have the referees playing in the game, then outright cheating. It's so unfortunate. I suspect if we just collection more than 40% taxes from he wealthy though, it will solve all of this.According to FBI and court documents, city and pension fund officials allegedly accepted bribes and kickbacks -- ranging from cash payments to lavish trips, entertainment and private plane flights -- in exchange for steering more than $200 million in pension fund investments.
For example, one former trustee of the police and fire fund allegedly accepted thousands of dollars in cash, a $5,000 casino chip, and trips to Florida and the Bahamas for he and his "mistress," according to the criminal indictment. He has entered a not guilty plea and is awaiting trial, scheduled for next year.
And just this month, a former chief of staff to a Detroit City Council member pleaded guilty to accepting $15,000 in cash bribes in 2007 in exchange for pushing for a $15 million investment in speculative real estate in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to an FBI release.
Overall, seven people have been convicted in relation to the pension fund investigation, while four more are facing criminal indictments, according to an FBI document.
"Detroit's bankruptcy and the risk to retirees' pension benefits demonstrate the importance of rooting out corruption from Detroit's two pension funds," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement. "The pension funds should be managed to benefit retirees, not to line the pockets of public officials."