COLUMBIA — No money ever changed hands in what was alleged to be a “pay-to-play” scheme involving the state’s pension fund, the state treasurer and a Charleston resident told state investigators this year.
The S.C. Attorney General’s Office this month declined to pursue charges following a probe of the allegation.
The agency that assisted the office with the investigation, the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, released nearly 500 pages of investigative documents Wednesday detailing the probe.
The SLED report includes emails between Treasurer Curtis Loftis and Charleston resident Mallory Factor, along with summaries of interviews between the men and state investigators.
The report was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Post and Courier.
Loftis and Factor have said the allegation was an attempt by Loftis’ political foes to shut down the treasurer’s questions about the $25 billion state pension fund’s fees, expenses and performance.
The Attorney General’s Office concluded that no legal action was warranted after reviewing the SLED report.
The investigation had been sought by the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission in November after it received documents alleging that Factor and his associates made calls last fall to two investment companies about pension fund work.
The companies told New England Pension Consultants, which is paid by the investment commission to help select retirement fund managers, that the calls didn’t feel right.
New England Pension Consultants then alerted the investment commission, which voted to turn over documents the pension consultants had compiled from talks with the concerned companies to the Attorney General’s Office.
According to the report released Wednesday, Loftis and Factor told state investigators that no money was ever sought or exchanged between either of them and the companies.
Loftis told investigators that he received no money or favors from Factor for recommending firms to the investment commission that Factor had recommended to him.
Factor served on Loftis’ transition team before the treasurer took office in January 2011.
According to the SLED report, Loftis asked Factor to research the state retirement system’s small- and mid-cap funds and how the state might get a better return on its investment in those funds.
Loftis received emails from Factor recommending three firms for management of the funds, according to the report.
The treasurer then recommended in emails to an investment commission staffer that the commission consider the firms, according to emails contained in the SLED report.
Loftis told state investigators that he didn’t know at the time that Factor was a third-party marketer and would have received a fee if the firms eventually were chosen by the investment commission.
Factor has said his goal was to help Loftis and the state find better money managers.
Reach Stephen Largen at 864-641-8172 and follow him on Twitter at @stephenlargen.