Alfred J.R. Villalobos, key figure in CalPERS scandal, commits suicide

Alfred J.R. Villalobos, the key figure in a CalPERS influence-peddling scandal, had died

Alfred J.R. Villalobos, a former state pension fund board member who faced trial next month on federal corruption and bribery charges, has committed suicide, officials said Wednesday.

The Reno Police Department confirmed that Villalobos' death was a suicide, but the Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office declined to provide further details because of an ongoing investigation.

Villalobos' attorney, Bruce Funk, confirmed that Villalobos, a central figure in an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the California Public Employees' Retirement System in 2009-11, died Tuesday afternoon. He provided no details about the circumstances.

Federal prosecutors have not offered any new information about the case.

Funk had filed papers in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Monday, saying that Villalobos, 71, was too ill to stand trial in late February.

Villalobos, a former vice mayor of Los Angeles and CalPERS board member, was charged with bribery and corruption in connection with his efforts to influence the pension funds' investment decisions.

Villalobos, who pleaded not guilty in the case, earned about $50 million as a middleman in winning CalPERS investments for private equity clients.

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12:30 p.m.: This article has been updated with officials calling Villalobos' death a suicide.

This article was originally published at 11:27 a.m.