Former Connecticut Treasurer Settles Kickback Charges

October 11, 2000 ( - Former Connecticut treasurer Paul Silvester has agreed to pay $10,500 to settle a civil fraud suit alleging he invested state pension fund money in firms that provided kickbacks to his friends and political cronies.

At the same time a federal grand jury handed down a number of new criminal indictments in the case – and the SEC has filed additional civil charges.

Silvester pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of racketeering and money laundering, and he is cooperating with authorities while awaiting sentencing.

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The SEC charges that Triumph Capital Group Inc. of Boston and a related firm, Landmark Partners Inc., profited from consulting agreements that involved giving finders fees and campaign contributions in exchange for state investments.

Indicted yesterday were Ben Andrews Jr., the former head of the Connecticut chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Lisa Thiesfield, a former aide to Silvester and Andrews’ sister-in-law; Triumph; Triumph Chairman Frederick W. McCarthy; and Triumph general counsel Charles Spadoni.

The indictment alleges that Triumph, McCarthy and Spadoni agreed to raise about $100,000 for the Connecticut GOP with the understanding that it would benefit Silvester’s unsuccessful campaign for Treasurer.  In return, Silvester placed $150 million of state pension funds in Landmark, a Triumph-related investment fund. 

Current Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier said that despite the scandal, the state’s pension fund money is secure.

– Nevin Adams