F.B.I. Asking Questions After a Pension Fund Aimed High and Fell Short

The Pennsylvania teachers’ retirement fund put more than half its assets into risky alternative investments. The math didn’t work out, spurring an investigation.


By Mary Williams Walsh

The search for high returns takes many pension funds far and wide, but the Pennsylvania teachers’ fund went farther than most. It invested in trailer park chains, pistachio farms, pay phone systems for prison inmates — and, in a particularly bizarre twist, loans to Kurds trying to carve out their own homeland in northern Iraq.

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