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Jan 27, 1:14 PM EST

Prosecutors seek 12-year sentence for Venezuelan financier in massive Connecticut fraud



HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of no less than 12 years in prison for a Venezuelan financier who ran a massive investment fraud scheme in Connecticut.

Authorities say in their sentencing memo that the crimes of Francisco Illarramendi (ee'-yah-rah-MEHN'-dee) caused losses of more than $300 million. The biggest client among his mostly foreign investors was Venezuela's state oil company.

In the memo filed Monday, prosecutors say Illarramendi took $20 million of the money for himself, using some of it to build a $5 million home in New Canaan.

The 45-year-old Illarramendi pleaded guilty in 2011 several counts of fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors say he lied repeatedly to investors and creditors to cover up losses.

Illarramendi has argued he should receive no more than six months of home confinement.

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