IL TRS Trustee Charged in Kickback Scheme

August 5, 2005 ( - Stuart Levine, a former trustee of the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) has been charged with soliciting kickbacks and payments from investment firms wanting to invest funds for the system.

According to the Journal-Standard, the US Attorney’s office charges that Levine solicited and, in some cases, received payments from investment firms in return for convincing the TRS to invest with the companies.   On one charge it is alleged that he was trying to win the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approval of a project forMercyHospital to get a $1.5 million kickback from Jacob Kiferbaum who wanted their construction work (See  IL TRS Subpoenaed In US Attorney’s Investigation ).

Joseph Cari and Steve Loren, attorneys for the TRS, have also been indicted on charges relating to the kickback scheme (See  Attorneys Indicted In IL State Pension Scandal ).

John Day, spokesman for the TRS, says the funds to which Levine allegedly helped steer money are doing well.   According to the news source, Day said if the funds start doing badly there is a complex process to dissolve the agreement.

The Illinois TRS has almost 325,000 members and holds assets in excess of $30 billion.