PDVSA Pension Ponzi – Ramon Illarramendi explains why he wants to buy NuScale nuclear plant company

Not long ago, I was surprised to see this bit of news: Ramon Illarramendi wanted to buy some shares in nuclear plant developer NuScale Power from a U.S. receiver. The receiver has control of those shares after seizing them from Illarramendi’s son, Pancho, for buying them with misappropriated money as part of a half-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Anyway, Ramon Illarramendi’s lawyer just sent over this statement, in which he explains his reasoning and defends his reputation. The heart of the issue is:

The court should not accept a fire-­sale price for NuScale. It is an enterprise of immense value. I have asked the court to allow me and others to bid for these assets in an open and transparent process to ensure that these workers (through their pension funds), Oregon State University, and all other shareholders of NuScale, receive all the benefits of their investment.

Thanks very much for sending in the statement. I’m always happy to give people the chance to reply. My only question – why send this now, 12 days after the press started to pick up on the relevant court filings? I am guessing it may have had to do with today’s Dow Jones story on the subject. Excerpt after the jump, with a few very juicy tidbits:

The father … battling … for control of a nuclear power firm … He wants to make his own bid…

A U.S. based lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity said he had been approached by the workers’ union, known locally by its Spanish acronym Futpv, to pursue legal action against PdVSA. But the union dropped the plans after the company promised to cover the losses…

Court papers filed by NuScale on Monday say it is in talks with … Fluor Corp. (FLR), to buy the receiver’s interest… NuScale urged the court to reject Illaramendi…

Very nice work by Liz Moyer and Kejal Vyas on this one. It’s always good to see someone with a salary taking up these big stories so people like me can do other things, like enjoy this beautiful spring afternoon.