By Marc Lifsher
April 23, 2012, 1:10 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Federal securities regulators sued a former chief executive and a former director of the country’s largest public pension fund, accusing them of scheming to defraud an investment firm of more than $20 million in fees.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the lawsuit Monday against the former CEO, Federico Buenrostro Jr., and the former CalPERS board member, Alfred J.R. Villalobos, alleging that they fabricated documents provided to Apollo Global Management in New York.

The documents were the basis used by Villalobos and his companies, ARVCO Capital Research and ARVCO Financial Venturues of Zephyr Cove, Nev., to bill Apollo for placement fees.

Villalobos was paid the fees for helping Apollo win multibillion-dollar contracts to invest money on behalf of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

The alleged phony documents were patched together to comply with requests from Apollo lawyers that Villalobos provide them with proof that the fees had been approved by CalPERS investment staff.

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