The Peruvian chickens came home to roost on Thursday when an Ohio judge remanded a former Ohio resident, who had been hiding out in Peru, into custody until his trial can begin.
Case Dating Back to 1999
This sorry tale dates all the way back to 1999 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) caught up with several employees working at Cyprus Funds Inc., situated in Ohio, who it was said were running a Ponzi scheme that would pre-date Bernie Madoff by a good few years.
SEC Throws the Regulation Book at Ring-leader
It was established by the SEC that Eric Bartoli, who was in his mid-40s at the time, had been running a fraudulent investment operation from 1995 to 1999. Prosecutors intended to prove thatBartoli was part of a criminal enterprise that had defrauded at least 800 investors, including many retirees, of considerable sums of money. The retirees were based in the United States and also parts of Latin America too.
The 10 criminal counts in the 2003 indictment include ones for securities fraud, the sale of unregistered securities, conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and an attempt to evade income tax payments.
The SEC sued Bartoli; he was absent for a 1999 hearing on the case about pharmaceutical fraud. Fugitive Trail Leads to New Hampshire. Subsequently, he was found to be in contempt of court. A civil arrest warrant was then issued.
Having failed to attend the 1999 hearing, Bartoli was known to have fled to New Hampshire. Federal authorities caught up with him there and he was relieved of his passport. However, Bartoli was not detained at this time with federal authorities believing that he was not a flight risk with his passport no longer in his possession.
The assumption that Bartoli was grounded proved to be a false one when he was able to use another identity to leave the United States, eventually ending up in Peru, according to information provided by Federal prosecutors.
Captured in Lima, Peru
The Peruvian National Police successfully captured Bartoli and he was back in custody during 2013 in Lima, Peru. It has taken more than two years for the extradition process to be completed, but Bartoli now is back on U.S. soil.
No Escape This Time
During his most recent court appearance on Thursday in front of U.S. District Judge John Adams in Akron, Ohio, the judge was not taking any chances with this case. He remanded the suspect into custody until, and no doubt throughout, the trail. Bartoli is expected back in court on December 22.
Mixed Result for Victims
For his co-conspirators, it has been a mixed case when it comes to delivering justice for the victims. It is believed by prosecutors that the ill-gotten gains were spirited away on other business interests and towards a luxurious lifestyle during the late 1990s. Little, if any, of the stolen money is ever likely to be recovered.
As for the co-conspirators, one of them died before their federal case could go to trial. Two other people involved were subsequently convicted and have already served out short prison sentences primarily on charges of fraud.