Pension Cleanup Continues at Capital Consultants in Ore.

Capital Consultants’ chief salesman, Dean Kirkland, was indicted Aug. 22 on 20 counts of giving various kickbacks to two union pension fund bosses, one of them his father. The indictment was handed down in the U.S. Dist. Ct. in Portland, Ore., where Capital is based.

The latest indictments bring to six the number of union and pension officials charged with wrongdoing in the firm’s 2000 collapse that cost numerous union pension funds a large share of the $500 million lost. Already convicted are the head of Capital, Jeffrey Grayson, and his son Barclay, and John D. Abbott, who admitted in Feb. 2001 to taking nearly $190,000 from the elder Grayson to steer the investments of five Laborers union trust funds to Capital.

In the latest indictment, Dean Kirkland is alleged to have paid for hunting trips for his father, Gary, and Robert Legino to  the western U.S., Canada, Africa, Argentina and Mexico between 1997 and 2000. Kirkland was a trustee of three pension plans operated by the Office & Professional Employees Intl. Union: the Local 11 401(k) plan, the Western States Local Union Trust, and the Western States Pension Trust. By the time the fed. govt. took over Capital Consultants in 2000, those funds had about $60 million tied to Capital Consultants. Robert Legino was a trustee of the Intl. Bhd. of Electrical Wrkrs. 8th Dist. Pension Fund, the 8th Dist. Pension Fund Annuity Plan, and the Electrical Industry Benefit Vacation and Paid Holiday Fund. By 2000, those funds had at least $65 million invested in Capital.

Other gifts from the younger Kirkland included Denver Broncos tickets and five rifles. All three are charged with violating U.S.C. 18, Sec. 1954, which makes it illegal to offer gifts for the purpose of influencing employee benefit investments. [U.S.A.O. D. OR 8/28/02]