New York Pension Fired Second Employee Linked to Pay-to-Play Scandal

The New York Common Retirement Fund in December fired a second employee — Philip Hanna — in connection with the pay-to-play scandal in which the fund’s fixed income director took bribes in exchange for commitments to two brokers, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

Hannah — who hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing — may have helped Navnoor Kang hide evidence related to his grift by harboring Mr. Kang’s laptop in his house.

More from the Wall Street Journal:

The day after federal prosecutors accused former New York state pension executive Navnoor Kang of taking bribes , the giant retirement system fired another employee in connection with the case, said people familiar with the matter.

The New York Common Retirement Fund escorted Philip Hanna from the pension’s Albany offices on Dec. 22 without giving him a reason for his termination, these people said. Mr. Hanna reported to Mr. Kang, and the two were close friends, they said. The men were college classmates at the University of Texas’ Arlington campus and later started their own spirits company called Secrets Vodka LLC, according to these people and state filings.

U.S. prosecutors allege that Mr. Kang hid laptops containing evidence of his crimes at the home of a colleague. That colleague—identified in the indictment as “co-conspirator 1”—was Mr. Hanna, according to the people familiar with the case. Last month, the federal judge presiding over Mr. Kang’s case wrote in a court filing that prosecutors planned to reveal information found on computers “recovered from the residence of the individual identified as `CC-1,’ which were obtained pursuant to search warrants.”

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