Adviser to Detroit Pensions Guilty in Pay-to-Play Scheme

February 11, 2013 ( A former investment adviser to the two City of Detroit pension funds pleaded guilty to his part in a pay-to-play scheme.

Chauncey Mayfield admitted that between 2006 and 2008 he had an agreement with then city Treasury Jeffrey Beasley to pay bribes to Beasley and others to influence Beasley’s decisions as a Trustee of Detroit’s Police and Fire Retirement System and General Retirement System, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. Mayfield was the principal owner and CEO of MayfieldGentry Realty Advisors L.L.C., an investment adviser and fiduciary to the two Detroit pension funds overseeing a real estate investment portfolio worth more than $200 million of pension fund assets. 

Mayfield indicated Beasley agreed to maintain business for Mayfield’s company and to give Mayfield new pension fund business in exchange for cash and other things of value. In particular, Mayfield gave $50,000 to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund; paid for Beasley and others to take a trip to Las Vegas costing $60,000; paid for another private plane trip to Tallahassee, Florida, costing $24,000; paid for a private jet flight to Bermuda; and hired Beasley’s paramour to work at MayfieldGentry at Beasley’s request. Because of the pension fund business directed to MayfieldGentry by Beasley, Mayfield earned significant investment advisory fees from Detroit’s two pension funds.   

Based on his guilty plea and felony conviction for conspiring to pay bribes, Mayfield is facing a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A criminal indictment is pending against Beasley and against Roy Dixon, a former investment adviser to the two pension funds who paid bribes to Beasley and other officials and who embezzled millions from the funds.   

A number of other defendants have been convicted in relation to the pension fund investigation.