(Bloomberg) -- A Detroit investment adviser will pay $3.1 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that he stole money from a police pension fund to finance his purchase of two California strip malls.

Chauncey C. Mayfield and his firm, MayfieldGentry Realty Advisors, were accused of siphoning money from the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System in 2008, the agency said in a statement today citing a complaint filed in federal court in Michigan. Four other MayfieldGentry executives were accused of trying to cover up the theft, the agency said in the statement.

“Mayfield stole pension money from Detroit’s retired police officers, firefighters, and surviving spouses and children to buy strip malls” Andrew Ceresney, the SEC’s co- director of enforcement, said in the agency’s statement. “To make matters worse, other senior officers at the firm joined together with him to cover up his deceitful and grave betrayal of trust, all for the purpose of keeping the client.”

The MayfieldGentry executives, who become aware of the misappropriation by May 2011, covered it up for another year, the SEC said. The executives informed the pension fund the evening before the SEC filed a complaint against them in May 2012 for participation in a “pay-to-play” scheme involving Detroit’s former mayor.

Mayfield, the firm and the other executives resolved the claims without admitting or denying wrongdoing. Their attorneys either declined to comment or couldn’t immediately be reached.

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