N. y. retirement official charged with accepting $100g in bribes – ny daily news

A state official who oversaw the investment of $53 billion in pension funds was charged by federal prosecutors Wednesday with accepting bribes of more than $100,000 in cash, cocaine, prostitutes, strippers, trips and concert tickets to steer lucrative business to two brokerage firms.

Court documents say Navnoor Kang, 38, started taking bribes almost as soon as he became director of fixed income and head of portfolio strategy for the NYS Common Retirement Fund in Albany in 2014.

NYSCRF is the third largest pension fund in the United States, with approximately $184 billion in assets in trust for a total of more than one million retirees and other beneficiaries, and at least two different people from different companies paid off Kang to get a piece of the pie.

Gregg Schonhorn, the vice president of fixed income sales at FTN Financial Services Group, pleaded guilty last week to paying Kang off, according to court papers unsealed Wednesday.


Deborah Kelley, 58-year-old former managing director of the Sterne Agee & Leach, was charged with participating in the scheme that ultimately resulted in Kang’s steering more than $2 billion in investments to their firms. Can i buy gold in diablo 3 Schonhorn and Kelley’s companies earned millions in commissions, the feds said.

The indictment charges that Kelley, Schonhorn and others paid Kang bribes by shelling out for “entertainment, travel, lavish meals, prostitutes, nightclub bottle service, narcotics, luxury gifts and cash.”

In addition to cocaine and crack, Kang is accused of taking a luxury watch, a $4,200 Hermes bracelet for his girlfriend, a $10,000 trip to Montreal and other expensive trips — including a weekend jaunt to Park Hill, Utah, for skiing and a trip to New Orleans where he was treated to a Paul McCartney concert.

Court papers say that among the illegal gifts was an expensive watch that Schonhorn gave Kang in late 2015 — a $17,420 Penerai model that Schonhorn put on his own credit card after Kang said he wanted a fancy watch.

Kang accepted two expensive watches from Gregg Schonhorn, the vice president of fixed income sales at FTN Financial Services Group, court records show. Why invest in gold in india (Getty Images/Emrah Turudu)

Bharara said Schonhorn started cooperating with government investigators at some point and wore a wire on which Kang said he wanted to hide evidence by returning the watch to Schonhorn.

Court records said this is the second watch that Schonhorn, 45, gave Kang. Should i buy gold etf The first, in 2012, was a Rolex and that gift resulted in Kang’s firing from another investment firm. Why not invest in gold The indictment says Kang did not disclose the fact that he was fired from New York State when he was hired.

Bharara said the prosecution began with an investigation by the enforcement unit of the Securities and Exchange Commission which was alerted by one of the brokerage houses involved.

Investigators found one of the brokerage houses went from handling no fixed income investments for the state pension fund to handling over $2 billion in two years.

When the SEC began its investigation, Bharara said, Kang, Kelley and Schonhorn conspired to get their stories straight. How to invest in gold bees They were all charged with obstruction of justice for that in addition to security fraud.

State Controller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees NYSCRF, said fund administrators have “absolutely no tolerance for self-dealing, and we are outraged by Mr. Should i buy gold or silver now Kang’s shocking betrayal of his responsibilities.”

Bharara said DiNapoli’s office cooperated in the investigation but Bharara, the FBI’s deputy agent in charge of the New York office William Sweeney and the SEC’s departing director of enforcement Andrew Ceresney agreed that public pension funds must be diligent and alert to insiders who can abuse their trust.

Sweeney suggested that when fund administrators see one brokerage firm go from handling zero to $2 billion in two years, they might ask “What’s up?”