June 28, 2011 / 6:05 PM / in 6 years

SEC recovers millions in hedge fund Ponzi case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. securities regulators said they have recovered $229.4 million from an offshore fund held by a Connecticut-based hedge fund whose manager pleaded guilty this year to running a Ponzi scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a court filing Tuesday that it received the funds controlled by Francisco Illarramendi and his firm Highview Point Partners LLC, which managed three hedge funds.

Illarramendi pleaded guilty in March in a parallel criminal case for his role in running a Ponzi scheme that may have defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. He has yet to be sentenced.

The SEC said the recovered assets were received last week, and will be held in a U.S. bank until the civil case is completed.

“We’re pleased with the return of this money to the U.S. and believe it will help preserve these assets for the benefit of defrauded investors,” said David Bergers, the director of the SEC’s regional office in Boston.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Illarramendi, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, No. 11-cr-00041. The SEC case is SEC v. Illarramendi et al in the same court, No. 11-00078.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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