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MOSERS, the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System, lost a chunk of change in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. New Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who serves as an ex-officio member of the board of MOSERS by virtue of his office, issued the following press release:

OFFICE OF THE MISSOURI STATE TREASURER

Clint Zweifel, Treasurer

MISSOURI STATE CAPITOL, P.O. BOX 210, JEFFERSON CITY, MO 65102

For immediate release:…

Zweifel Learns Of Madoff Connection to MOSERS

Bernie Madoff scam costs state retirement fund an estimated $3.5 million

Jefferson City, Mo – Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel attended his first official meeting of the MOSERS Board, the state retirement agency, on Thursday and learned that money MOSERS placed with the asset management firm, Silver Creek Capital Management, fed money to Bernie Madoff.  This investment resulted in a $3.5 million loss to the state employee retirement fund.  Madoff, a financier, is allegedly behind a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.  “There has never been a more important time to protect the retirement of hard working Missourians and the investments of taxpayers” said Zweifel.  Treasurer Zweifel urges the Board and the staff of MOSERS to implement the following actions to protect investors and taxpayers

·         The relationship between MOSERS and Silver Creek should be thoroughly examined and all courses of action should be considered.

·         Development of policies that promote increased openness and transparency of MOSERS’ investments by defining what issues are appropriate to discuss in open session versus executive session.

·         Improved and more detailed disclosures so MOSERS board members know and understand how specific investments are performing.

·         Increased due diligence on asset managers by MOSERS to provide for increased accountability.  This is particularly important considering the “fund-of-fund” investment method sometimes used by MOSERS.

·         We should consider pursuing legal action for plan participants who have been harmed by the decision to invest with a firm that invested with Bernie Madoff.

·         There needs to be a comprehensive review of all MOSERS investments to ensure there isn’t additional Madoff exposure.

“The Board and the MOSERS staff should immediately take steps to remedy the situation at MOSERS” said Zweifel, “It is unfortunate that anyone was affected by Madoff.  It is crucial we take immediate action to see that this does not happen again.”

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The consequences of a complacent Securities and Exchange Commission and political leadership which disdains proper regulation has far reaching consequences. It’s not just about a bunch of (formerly) wealthy individuals in New York City who misplaced their trust in someone.

DECEMBER 18, 2008

Madoff Misled SEC in ’06, Got Off

By GREGORY ZUCKERMAN and KARA SCANNELL

Securities and Exchange Commission investigators discovered in 2006 that Bernard Madoff had misled the agency about how he managed customer money, according to documents, yet the SEC missed an opportunity to uncover an alleged Ponzi scheme.

The documents indicate the agency had Mr. Madoff in its sights amid multiple violations that, if pursued, could have blown open his alleged multibillion-dollar scam. Instead, his firm registered as an investment adviser, at the agency’s request, and the public got no word of the violations….

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is evidently intent on exercising his fiduciary responsibility – that’s quite a contrast with dubya’s administration.