US - Stuart Levine, former trustee of the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), could be sentenced to a jail term of five years and seven months after pleading guilty to extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickback schemes.
Levine, together with Chicago business man Antoin Rezko, had been accused of soliciting and demanding millions of dollars in undisclosed payments and kickbacks from investment firms seeking to do business with TRS.
The former TRS trustee was facing possible lifetime imprisonment, but his guilty plea secured him a shorter jail term in exchange for his cooperation.
Earlier this month, TRS executive director Jon Bauman confirmed that no TRS assets had been used to fund the illegal payments. "Stuart Levine betrayed a public trust, pursuing criminal conduct for his own personal gain," said Bauman following news of the guilty plea.
The former TRS trustee admitted using his position and influence to coerce investment firms to pay "finders fees" for consulting work that was never provided.
TRS is now cooperating in the investigation by providing documents, data and testimony to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The top stories this week were the High Court's decision to block the £12bn annuity transfer from Prudential to Rothesay Life, and a separate court ruling that 'raises the bar' for pension rectification exercises.
Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation has soared to the top of pension schemes' to-do lists, with 58% stating it is a priority project, research from Equiniti has revealed.
Professional Pensions is holding its defined contribution (DC) conference on 4 September.