Monday, November 22, 2010

NM 3rd Party Marketer Pleads Guilty in NY Case.

A former Democratic Party consultant turned "third party marketer" for investments pled guilty today to fraud in New York.

From The New York Times.

"I intentionally engaged in fraud, deception (and) concealment," Henry "Hank" Morris said, his voice low but steady as he admitted being at the fulcrum of the pay-to-play scheme at the $125 billion retirement pool, one of the world's largest government pension funds.

Morris acknowledged using his ties to former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi to get millions of dollars in payouts for himself, to channel money to cronies and to solicit campaign contributions for Hevesi from firms seeking state business.
But neither The Times nor the New York Daily News, at least in initial stories on the plea, mentioned Morris' dealings in New Mexico, where a company he was afiliated with was paid 150,000 in third-party marketing fees secure a $20 million investment in a fund from our State Investment Council.

Morris has not been charged with any wrongdoing for his dealings with New Mexico.

Last year Saul Meyer, co-founder of Dallas-based Aldus Equity Partners, pled guilty in the New York pay-to-play scandal. Aldus was contracted as the adviser to the New Mexico SIC and this state's Educational Retirement Board.

In his plea statement to a New York court, Meyer said he recommended investments in New Mexico because of political pressures, saying, "contrary to my fiduciary duty, I ensured that Aldus recommended certain proposed investments that were pushed on me by politically connected individuals in New Mexico. I did this knowing that these politically connected individuals or their associates stood to benefit financially or politically from the investments and that the investments were not necessarily in the best economic interest of New Mexico."

Shortly after that statement, SIC director Gary Bland retired.