Broidy, former chairman of Markstone Capital Group, pleaded guilty in December to a felony and admitted showering officials at the New York state pension fund with nearly $1 million in exchange for a $250 million investment in Markstone. As part of his plea, Broidy agreed to cooperate with investigators with the New York State attorney general’s office.
The news today is that Alan Hevesi, the New York comptroller who oversaw the pension fund, reportedly intends to plead guilty apparently for taking Broidy’s “gifts.” Broidy paid $75,000 to send Hevesi and his relatives on five trips to Israel, including first-class airfare, luxury hotel accommodations and a security detail, according to several reports.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
A person familiar with the matter at the time said Mr. Hevesi had long expressed a desire to stay at the historic King David hotel, which overlooks Jerusalem’s Old City. Mr. Broidy paid for a stay there, this person said.
Readers of this blog might note how similar this is to the $63,000 trip CalPERS investment officer Leon Shahinian made to New York in 2007. Shahinian’s private jet and his lavish hotel suite were paid for by billionaire Leon Black. At the time, Black and his agent, Al Villalobos, CalPERS was considering investing $700 million Black’s Apollo Global Management. Guess Jerry Brown isn’t as determined to root out pension corruption as Cuomo.
But I digress.
Broidy used his New York connections to leverage an investment in CalPERS. At the time of Broidy’s guilty plea, the LA Times reported that:
In 2003, Broidy mounted a major selling effort to get CalPERS to invest in his firm, according to documents released by CalPERS that report meetings between investment pitchmen and board members. Letters from Broidy to board members indicate that Markstone sought to leverage the New York investment into business with CalPERS, which eventually agreed to invest $50 million in Markstone.
Broidy even brought New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi with him to a meeting in Sacramento with CalPERS staff to pitch Markstone in 2003. One of those meetings was with then-state Treasurer and CalPERS board member Phil Angelides. Broidy offered to bring Angelides and other California officials to Israel to see its economic strength.
Broidy also cultivated another influential ally at CalPERS, then-state Controller Steve Westly, who also was on the CalPERS board. Broidy had met privately with Westly at least half a dozen times by October 2004, according to Westly’s desk calendar. One of those meetings was at Broidy’s office in Tel Aviv.
Broidy once hosted fundraisers for President Bush and other lavish parties in his Bel Air manse. Bush appointed him to the Kennedy Center’s board and U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council. He was a trustee of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension fund from 2002 until he resigned in May 2009.
He also has ties to San Diego, serving in the 1980s as a money manager for Glen Bell, the late Taco Bell founder and Rancho Santa Fe resident. That a relationship that ended acrimoniously, with Bell accusing Broidy in court papers of cheating him while he suffered from Parkinson’s disease.