The US District Court has again,for what must be a record sixth time, reset the sentencing date for Francisco Illarramendi, the hedge fund operator convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme whose victims lost $300-500m. Counsel for the defendant, who again argued that he has not completed his preparation, blamed the poor facilities where his client is being detained, the vast amount of information that must be reviewed, and the critical issue of calculating the exact amount of the monetary loss suffered by the victims, for the delay.
Counsel's concerns are real.;Illaramendi, who has gone through three attorneys during his case, could in theory receive a life sentence, if the Court decides to accept the loss estimates of the US Attorney's Office. A stiff sentence in this case, which is richly deserved, could serve a larger purpose; it would resonate in the hedge fund and alternative investment industry, and serve as a powerful deterrent to operators and managers of hedge funds.