Published reports today indicate Iowa retirees stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in retirement assets due to the investment practices of State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald and the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement Systems (IPERS) Investment Board. At risk is $500 million of investments Treasurer Fitzgerald voted to make in an alleged investment scam with Westridge Capital Management in 2007 and 2008.
Republican Party of Iowa Executive Director Jeff Boeyink said today, “As State Treasurer, Mike Fitzgerald has the responsibility for helping guide the investment of the state’s retirement dollars in safe and sound institutions. Iowans put their trust in his ability to separate legitimate investment opportunities from get-rich-quick scams. That Mike Fitzgerald has failed in this responsibility there is no question. That he has potentially squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in retirement funds is still in doubt, but it is looking more and more like there will be no ultimate recovery of these assets.”
The alleged investment scam was discovered by auditors earlier this year and the investment firm’s two principals are accused by federal authorities of stealing at least $553 million from investors.
Boeyink concluded, “Perhaps Iowans would be better served if Treasurer Fitzgerald would spend less time on his blatantly self-promotional ‘Great Iowa Treasure Hunt’ and more time sniffing out investment scams and ensuring the critical retirement resources with which he has been entrusted are safe and protected.”
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