PDVSA Pension Ponzi: Odo & Nancy Habeck sued for $7.6 million

I guess it was just a matter of time before they started going after the other characters in this play. Odo Habeck, for those without a playbill, was CEO of MK Group LLC, which was one of the companies that Pancho Illarramendi used to create a half-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme that lost as much as $300 million, largely from the pension fund of Venezuela’s state oil company (PDVSA, hence the title of this series of posts) and from Venezuelan billionaire Oswaldo Cisneros.

Or to hear the receiver put it, Habeck was “a fiduciary of some of the investment funds used to perpetrate the fraud. These lofty titles helped Illarramendi cloak his fraud and the MK Group with an air of legitimacy. In reality, however, Habeck abdicated his responsibilities to the MK Group and its funds in return for personal financial gain as the fraud transpired”

Here’s the main filing. This one’s really colorfully written, which makes me even more skeptical about it than about the Beracha one. But hey, this is a blog — so we love color. Colour too, for the British Virgin Islanders in the house. Here you go:

Habeck received millions of dollars of misappropriated investor money to purchase a luxury home, for the use and enjoyment of a yacht, and to otherwise ignore the blatant red flags from the fraud that surrounded him. In short, Habeck grew fat through the fraud orchestrated by Illarramendi in exchange for abandoning his responsibilities and ignoring the obvious signs unfolding all around him.

I have no idea how to reach Habeck and no lawyer is listed on the complaint. Sir: if you have a response of any sort, please send it to settysoutham at gmail.com, and I’ll post it verbatim, promise.

So where were we? Oh yeah, fat. How much fat? The government, in the cover sheet to the suit, says it wants $7,594,093. But the complaint itself is vaguer, and I’m just some schmuck in Chile. What do I know.

I have rather wondered whatever happened to these executives & fiduciaries. It always takes more than one failure point to make a crash. And this is a really fun filing. I mean, a $3 million “loan” to buy a stone McMansion in New Canaan — wtf? (See page 32!) Don’t people ask when some dude pays cash for a $3 million house during a period of low interest rates? Hello, “know your customer…”

And hey while I’m at it with the snark, can I tell you the real crime here? The real crime is that this money didn’t even go to fix up one of Connecticut’s many beautiful old homes, or maybe buy some horses. Instead, they torn down this

to build this

Onwards — it’s filings day! At this rate, by the time Reuters and Bloomberg get into the office in the morning, all their clients are going to have been sued by the receiver.

No no, just making fun. I’m sure they have already seen these filings and decided they weren’t newsworthy. After all, they were all entered with the court on Feb 2 and Feb 3… There’s no way some dude in Chile could scoop press agencies that have people at the federal courthouses, is there?

Is there?