The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this month notified PSPRS investment partner Desert Troon Companies, Inc., that it will not recommend any action against the real estate investment firm or its personnel.
Federal investigations produced no evidence to support previous accusations of several former PSPRS employees who alleged senior PSPRS investment staff members manipulated values of real estate ventures jointly managed with the Desert Troon Companies for the purpose of triggering employee bonus pay. PSPRS has consistently denied those allegations.
The investigations of PSPRS, were begun following the accusations, were conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All were formally concluded this year without evidence of misconduct, according to a press release.
Brian Tobin, chairman of the PSPRS Board of Trustees, said that the S.E.C. notice to PSPRS investment partner Desert Troon Companies only adds to the evidence that no wrongdoing relating to PSPRS real estate investments occurred, stated the release.
“There is no longer any possible explanation besides the fact that PSPRS, its investment team and its investment partners did absolutely nothing wrong,” Mr. Tobin stated in the release. “To see these investigations of PSPRS and its investment partner reach the same conclusion says it all.”
In response to the allegations, which drew repeated coverage from state and national news outlets, the Desert Troon Companies filed a defamation and interference with business lawsuit in May 2014 against former PSPRS employees Andrew Carriker, Paul Corens, Anton Orlich and Mark Selfridge, according to the release.
The litigation is ongoing after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge rejected several attempts by the defendants to dismiss the lawsuit. Likewise, PSPRS is actively litigating the return of hundreds of thousands of PSPRS documents, many of which are confidential, from Orlich.
The resolved federal investigations followed several other major reviews of PSPRS real estate investment matters involving Desert Troon. The matter was previously vetted by independent accounting firms Ernst & Young and Heinfeld Meech Company, real estate experts with ORG Portfolio Management, opposing staff reports and the Office of the Arizona Auditor General.