The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is suing a former employee who allegedly stole about $ 685,000 from 10 retiree accounts, the fund said.
Among the victims targeted by the former employee accused was a homeless person, as well as three beneficiaries who are under legal guardianship, according to a press release. complaint filed last week in the California State Superior Court in Sacramento County.
Guardianship members have legal guardians appointed to oversee their financial assets due to old age or disability.
CalPERS aims to recover the stolen assets of Gloria Najera, a former associate government program analyst who was part of the country’s largest state pension system for 25 years. As part of her job administering retiree benefits, Najera had access to member addresses and direct deposit information for retirees in the CalPERS system, according to the lawsuit.
From July 2017 to January this year, the former employee allegedly used the information to breach inactive retiree accounts and redirect funds to her own bank account. The lawsuit said she used the money to pay off her debts and those of her family.
“That this could have happened in the first place is unacceptable,” CalPERS said in a statement. “The employee’s actions were an abuse of access, a violation of fiduciary responsibility, and a betrayal of colleagues and all dedicated public employees.”
CalPERS said it will restore funds for affected retirees and seek to use its civil action to recover the stolen assets. The pension fund will also carry out a forensic check.
“CalPERS will exhaust all legal opportunities to recover money stolen from victims,” the fund said.
Najera was excluded from the fund, CalPERS said. She could not be immediately reached for comment.
CalPERS declined to comment further on the lawsuit.
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Tags: California Public Employees Retirement System, CalPERS, Director of Investments, Employee Benefits, Investment, pension, retiree, retirement