PDVSA Pension Ponzi: Reuters gets you up to speed

Decent story giving the overall story of the PDVSA Pension Ponzi on Reuters today. Nothing much new in there except that PDVSA retirees are marching against the company. But not a bad way to get up to speed if, like a sane person, you haven’t been hanging on every word at this blog for the past seven months.

Retired workers from the oil behemoth have taken to the streets in protest. Their beef: nearly half a billion dollars of pension fund money was lost after it was invested in what turned out to be a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme run by a U.S. financial advisor who was closely linked to President Hugo Chavez’s government.

The fraud case centers on Francisco Illarramendi, a Connecticut hedge fund manager with joint U.S.-Venezuelan citizenship who used to work as a U.S.-based advisor to PDVSA and the Finance Ministry.

Several top executives at PDVSA have been axed since the scandal, which one former director of the company said proved Venezuela under Chavez had become “a moral cesspool.”

You get the idea. Check it out if you’re a bit lost on this whole Caso Illarramendi.