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Longtime fugitive Eric Bartoli pleads guilty to stealing $65 million

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Staff Writer |
Eric V. Bartoli
Fraud   Bartoli operated a large-scale Ponzi scheme

Eric V. Bartoli, who was indicted in 2003 and was a fugitive for more than a decade, pleaded guilty to defrauding hundreds of investors out of millions of dollars in the 1990s.

Bartoli is scheduled to be sentenced November 9 after pleading guilty to eight counts, including conspiracy, securities fraud, sale of unregistered securities, wire fraud, mail fraud and attempted income tax evasion.

The guilty plea was announced by Carole S. Rendon, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI, and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.

Bartoli operated a large-scale Ponzi scheme from 1995 through 1999. He created and operated a company by the name of Cyprus Funds, Inc., which was based in Doylestown, Ohio and incorporated in Central America. Bartoli and his co-conspirators operated Cyprus to sell certificates of deposit and unregistered mutual funds.

Cyprus raised approximately $65 million from an estimated 800 investors in Latin America and the United States. Some of Cyprus’s victims included retirees, according to court records.

Bartoli was sued in 1999 by the Securities and Exchange Commission on charges involving the Cyprus Funds, Inc. Bartoli did not appear at a scheduled hearing regarding the SEC charges.

He was subsequently found in contempt of court and a civil arrest warrant was issued. Bartoli had fled Ohio and was arrested in New Hampshire. Bartoli was not detained at that time and became a fugitive.

An indictment was filed against Bartoli in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in October 2003.

Bartoli was taken into custody by the Peruvian National Police in Lima, Peru, in 2013. The operation was a joint effort between the FBI, Diplomatic Security Service, and the Peruvian National Police. He was returned to the United States last year.

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