The Brief of Appellee in the Second Circuit appeal, by the Venezuelan Ponzi schemer, Francisco Illarramendi, states that the trial judge did not commit error in its calculation of loss. The appellant, who has gone through no less than five lawyers in this case, delayed sentencing for three years with his arguments regarding the losses suffered by the victims.
The various estimates of the total loss were $382m, $300m, $380m, and $275m. The defendant's gain was estimated as $20m, but it may have been as high as $22m.
The US Attorney's office in Connecticut made these points:
(1) The District Court did not commit procedural error in calculating the loss amount under the Sentencing Guidelines.
(2) The District Court properly determined that Illarramendi's fraudulent conduct caused a very substantial loss.
(3) The District Court cautiously determined that the loss amount could not be determined with sufficient precision.
(4) The District Court acted well within its discretion, in declining to conduct an evidentiary hearing, regarding the loss amount, and the gain attribution.
(5) The District Court properly used Illarramendi's gain as an alternative measure of loss.
(6) If there was Procedural Error, it constituted Harmless Error.
The Appellant's Reply Brief is due in late December; He is currently serving a 13-year sentence.