PDVSA Pension Ponzi: Illarramendi, family members sued for $300 million

$300 million — yes, it’s astronomical numbers day at Setty’s Notebook. As is my custom, here’s your filing. You want more? Get yourself a Pacer account, or hire me.

This time, the defendants are “Francisco Illarramendi, Maria Josephina Gonzalez-Miranda, Adela M. Illarramendi.” A bit more of the receiver’s rather depressing prose:

From 2005 to January 2011, the Defendants collectively received Transfers totaling at least $22,834,410, directly or indirectly, from Receivership Entities. These include non-ordinary course payments, including some payments mischaracterized as a “bonus,” as well as salary for jobs Illarramendi failed to perform appropriately. Many of the non-ordinary course payments to the Defendants resulted from complex transactions orchestrated by Illarramendi to allow him to continue his fraud and line his own pockets…

As far as comment from the accused, sorry dude but it’s 1:30 am. I’m just quoting the filing without comment here. Please, if you folks have any comment, send it to settysoutham at gmail.com and I’ll publish it verbatim, promise. A note to readers: though Pancho Illarramendi has admitted guilt in this case, the other two defendants here haven’t, so please don’t rush to judgment. You never know what sort of defenses people will have.

Anyway, the basic point of this filing seems to be (again, lawyers, feel free to correct me) that Illarramendi and his peeps were unjustly enriched by the scam, and in the end it’s his responsibility to get back the $300 million that have been spun off to parts unknown.

Looking at the narratives in these filings, I see that the money didn’t disappear all at once. Rather, it got taken in $5 million on this bond deal, $10 million on that overpriced private equity deal. It’s all starting to remind me a bit of tap water. Each tap doesn’t drain very much. But you turn on a lot of taps and you can drain a very big pipe — like, say, the PDVSA pension funds. Not to extend the metaphor too much, but taps drain into little household sewers, and then they all join up again, into one big pipe. A guy’s got to wonder — did all this money come back together on the other side? And if so, in whose bank account?