Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Attorneys for the convicted hedge fund Ponzi schemer, Francisco Illarramendi, have filed a Notice of Appeal from his 156 month sentence. If you have been following the case on this blog, you know that, notwithstanding that his Guidelines sentence was Life in Prison, Government prosecutors in his case recommended at least 12 years; the Court gave him thirteen.

In his sentencing memorandum, the defendant's attorney argued that the facts supported a sentence that would have resulted in time served, for he has been in custody for two years, after his bond was revoked. I expect that they will assert the same issues in the Court of Appeals.

Mr. Illarramendi, instead of admitting that his sentence was fair, now looks for relief before the appeals court. Frankly, the Government did him a huge favor when it ignored the Guidelines. If, for some reason, the case does come back down to the trial court for re-sentencing (though it is doubtful), perhaps someone at the US Attorney's Office might want to reexamine the position of that office, and seek to impose the Guidelines life sentence. Such a move might cause defense attorneys, who represent Ponzi schemers in future cases, to reconsider appeals which are arguably frivolous. 

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