Conn. Fraud Lawsuit Details Bribery In Venezuela

Published February 9, 2012 8:36PM (EST)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A lawsuit alleges that a Connecticut hedge fund adviser who carried out a $500 million fraud scheme had help from people in Venezuela, including a manager at the state-owned oil company.

The receiver investigating the dealings of Venezuelan-American financier Francisco Illarramendi (EE'-yah-rah-mehn-dee) has filed multiple lawsuits seeking the return of tens of millions of dollars in what it calls bribes and kickbacks.

Illarramendi ran unregistered hedge funds out of offices in Stamford, Conn. before pleading guilty last March to several counts of fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice in a scheme to conceal huge losses. His biggest investor was a pension fund for Venezuelan state oil workers.

Those accused of taking payoffs to help Illarramendi include a former pension fund manager at the oil company and a well-connected businessman.

By Salon Staff

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