Sunday, July 11, 2010

The many conflicting reports and data in regards to the abuse with the Santa Barbara Pension Fund

Below is just a portion of a document that first started my grave concerns with the Santa Barbara county Pension fund and possible fraud and corruption. In the year of 2006 the Santa Barbara county auditor issued a document to clarify the actions and performance of the County pension fund back to the year 1999. In doing so our County Auditor Mr. Geis totally ignored any representation of the year 2001. I was shocked to see his attempt to balance a fund well in excess of a Billion dollars with out the data from 2001 being included. Upon my further review of actual Pension fund audits in 2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007and finally in 2008 I could find no reference what so every to the value or actions of the Santa Barbara County Pension funds performance for the year 2001. How could any of the many firms hired to assure us the fund was just do so with out obtaining the missing fund performance and data for 2001.
Page 1 of 7
County of Santa Barbara
Office of the Auditor-Controller
County Retirement Costs: White Paper by Robert W. Geis, CPA
(Through June, 30, 2006)
. Losses on investment returns of $464 million between December 31, 1999 and December 31, 2002 had a dominant impact on the fund. This white paper explains some actuarial and accounting concepts to help the reader better understand the financial condition

Now here is the missing year of 2001. No where is the 2001 data found in any future yearly audits of the Employees County Pension Fund once again why is that?

Page 18
STATEMENT OF PLAN NET ASSETS - As of June 30, 2002 and 2001
JUNE 30, 2002
Net Assets Held in Trust for Pension Benefits 2001 $1,124,111,217 2002 $1,193,642,623

Page 19
STATEMENT OF PLAN NET ASSETS - As of June 30, 2002 and 2001

Net Assets Held in Trust for Pension Benefits 2001 $ 1,124,111,217 2002 $1,193,642,623
Page 32
12/31/00 $1,171,138,000
12/31/o1 $1,193,642,623 (this figure taken from page 18 of same audit)
12/31/02 $ $1,124,111,217 (this figure taken from page 18 of same audit)

My comment at this point is where we can see a 464 million dollar lost on “investment returns”. as expressed by Mr. Geis in the “White Paper “ from 2006? Now are we to assume that in regards to the term “investment returns’ the 464 million dollars represented here as the minimum responsibility the county has to keep the pension fund legally funded? Again how can one tell?

Now in this report to the State of California below the Physical Year 2001 was a solid performing time in regards to other County Investments. Did our Pension fund just miss out? Why such a wide discrepancy in fund performance by the same County and personal responsible for both fund performances?


County Investment Pool
•For fiscal year 2000-01, the Treasury earned 5.9% or $39.6 million
for the pool participants.
•The pool fair market value at $681 million is $3 million more than

The tremendous momentum of the economy fueled another strong year. The County’s governmental fund revenues grew 8% in FY 00-01. The County will rely on moderate growth next year, anticipating a decline from recent years’ rates of growth. The County’s FY 01-02 forecast indicates:

Cash Management: Short-term available cash is pooled by the County Treasurer for investment purposes, including demand deposits, certificates of deposit, U.S. Government Treasury and Agency securities, bankers’ acceptances, corporate bonds and notes, repurchase agreements, commercial paper and the State of California Local Agency Investment Fund. The average yield on investments was 5.86% during fiscal year 2000-01. The County's investment performance compared favorably to the average yield rate of 5.47% for U.S. Treasury bills during fiscal year 2000-01.

Below is the Grand Jury version for the Pension fund:
Released June 26, 2000
Santa Barbara County Employees’ Retirement System
Counties With Assets In Excess 0f $800 Million
Annualized Returns for Period ending 6/30/00
Los Angeles 88,420 $30.3 billion 15.2% 14.6% 15.7%
Orange 20,357 $4.8 billion 11.85% 12.70% 14.46%
San Diego 16,910 $3.7 billion 15.75% 14.59% 16.02%
San Bernardino 15,529 $3.6 billion 9.74% 12.70% 14.12%
Sacramento 10,547 $3.3 billion 9.54% 13.19% 15.41%
Alameda 9,859 $3.8 billion 10.88% 13.10% 15.36%
Contra Costa 8,475 $2.5 billion 6.6% 13.0% 15.7%
Kern 6,853 $1.4 billion 9.43% 11.4% 13.62%
Ventura 6,840 $2.1 billion 7.2% 12.9% 14.8%
Fresno 5,899 $1.3 billion 8.4% 11.8% 14.0%
San Joaquin 4,835 $1.3 billion 7.93% 10.17% 13.71%
Santa Barbara 4,500 $1.2 billion 6.7% 12.1% 14.5%
San Mateo 4,400 $1.2 billion 6.8% 10.5% 15.3%
Stanislaus 4,281 $900 million 6.58% 10.86% 13.49%
Sonoma 4,236 $928 million 8.78% 12.92% 15.81%
Marin 2,885 $955 million 10.7% 12.7% 15.2%

Even with all this data we still must trace transaction by transaction in written forms and invoices where the fund lost 24% of its value or in excess of half a billion dollars for the year ending 12/08 as reported in another Grand jury report. Which is to say nothing of the legal actions taken in our Superior Court in regards to Health care cost by our own County counsel against our own Pension fund board? Corruption affects everybody and need not practice racism since it affects us all.

The Pension fund easily makes claims of over a billion dollars lost but that is on "investment returns" and is only part of the story. What have we spent to keep in the fund is the real question. If the fund balance is 1.7 Billion dollars what is the cost attributed to sustaining that figure? Do we invest and spend 3 dollars to keep 1 in the pension fund, who knows? That is where the corruption is really hidden.