Man Gets 14 Months In Hedge Fund Fraud Case

Jan 31 2012 | 12:57pm ET

A Venezuelan living in Florida has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for his role in a hedge fund fraud that cost that country's state-owned oil company's pension fund hundreds of millions of dollars.

Juan Carlos Horna Napolitano pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. According to prosecutors, Horna and another man, accountant Juan Carlos Guillen Zerpa, created a bogus letter verifying $275 million in imaginary assets at a hedge fund run by Francisco Illarramendi. Illarramendi admitted to paying the men more than $3 million for the letter.

Guillen was also sentenced to 14 months in prison. Illarramendi, who pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme at his Michael Kenwood Group and Highview Point Partners hedge funds, has not yet been sentenced, but faces up to 70 years in prison when he is.

In addition to the jail time, Horna was ordered to forfeit $935,000.

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