PDVSA Pension Ponzi: LAHT offers best roundup yet

Here is a very good explanation of the current state of play, and the full background, of the Ponzi scheme that got about a half-billion dollars from the Venezuelan state oil company’s pension fund. It starts with a bunch about the recent activity around Moris Beracha’s Movilway company. But the main stuff of interest is lower down:

The Ponzi

Illarramendi’s whole Ponzi scheme unravelled in January 2011, when the SEC charged him with engaging in a multi-year Ponzi scheme involving hundreds of millions of dollars. On March 7, 2011, Illarramendi pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of investment advisor fraud, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, to obstruct an official proceeding and to defraud the SEC, for which he is still awaiting sentencing…

I realize these complex financial frauds aren’t for everyone, and this report is pretty technical. But what’s fascinating here is seeing how many people who never come near oil try to stick their fingers in the money stream that normally flows back up an oil pipeline.