CalPERS sues ex-employee for stealing his retirement money

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is suing a former employee who is accused of stealing more than $ 685,000 from the dormant retirement accounts of 10 retirees, court documents Pin up.

The victims include a homeless retiree, CalPERS said in a court file, as well as several people under guardianship, which means that a judge has appointed someone to oversee their finances due to a mental or physical disability.

The $ 460 billion pension fund filed a lawsuit on Friday in California Superior Court in Sacramento, according to court documents. He is suing Gloria Najera, a 25-year CalPERS veteran and former associate government program analyst, “to recover the stolen funds,” CalPERS said in the complaint.

CalPERS said Najera stole more than $ 685,600 from 10 retiree accounts that were inactive, meaning the payments were returned as undeliverable. “CalPERS repeatedly attempts to locate these members and beneficiaries,” the pension system said in the court file.

The alleged fraud, which CalPERS said it discovered during an investigation that began in January, occurred between July 2017 and January 2021. CalPERS said Najera is no longer employed there and the system is performing a ” forensic audit “.

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CalPERS has said it will “restore all breached member accounts” and notified all those affected by the alleged fraud. CalPERS has since implemented a new policy, which requires three levels of security, CEO Marcie Frost said on Monday in an email to members that was obtained by Institutional investor.

“That this could have happened in the first place is unacceptable, and the employee is no longer employed by CalPERS,” Frost said in the email. “The employee’s actions were an abuse of access, a violation of fiduciary responsibility, and a betrayal of colleagues and all dedicated public employees. We are extremely disappointed as we take our commitment to member safety very seriously. “

CalPERS alleged in the court record that Najera used the stolen funds to pay off her own credit card debts as well as the debt of her husband, daughter and another family member. The alleged victims include one person who CalPERS says is homeless as well as three people under guardianship. Four others are under power of attorney, CalPERS said, including one who lives in a care facility.

“CalPERS will exhaust all legal opportunities to recover stolen money from victims,” ​​Frost told members in the email.