Tuesday, January 6, 2015


After his counsels' multiple pleas for more time to calculate the amount of loss resulted in an unusual sentencing delay of four years, the Court in Ponzi schemer/hedge fund manager Francisco Illarramendi's criminal case has scheduled his sentencing for January 29, 2015. The problem is, the defendant may still not be ready to face justice.

On December 31, the Court forwarded to defense counsel and the US Probation Office (USPO), which prepares the Pre-Sentence Investigation and Report (PSI), the receiver's calculation of the amount of monetary loss suffered by the victims. Though it does not appear in the file, it is believed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The amount of the loss, irrespective of any subsequent recovery, affects the sentence pronounced by the Court. A Life Sentence is a possibility here, but we are unable to ascertain the suggested Guidelines Sentence, as calculated by the USPO, as access to the PSI is strictly limited to the US Attorneys handling the case, defense counsel, and the defendant, and there has been no public filing by defense counsel discussing the Guidelines calculation.

Here's what I see is the latest problem: The defendant's sentencing memorandum was due to be filed yesterday, January 5, and it has neither been filed, nor was any motion requesting an extension of time filed timely. Illarramendi has gone through four lawyers in his case, and each time, new counsel pleads for additional time to review the massive amount of discovery, so as to arrive at a fair calculation of the losses sustained. The Court has granted all these motions, resulting in the fact that a 2011 case is still pending. Whether this was dilatory, on the part of counsel, to delay the case further, is anybody's guess, but Illarramendi long ago stated what he believed to be the total losses.

Will we finally see a sentencing on January 29th ? We cannot say, but we will be monitoring all developments as they occur, as the case is a matter of great public interest, both in the United States, where Illarramendi acted as an unlicensed hedge advisor, and in Venezuela, where the losses occurred.

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