“Snowball system,” the house-of-cards finance company operated from 2006 until its collapse in 2011 by a guy now awaiting trial in the USA which ate $117 million of one Venezuelan businessman’s money and the at least $500-million pension fund, for 25,000 workers, of the Venezuelan state oil company PdVSA. Reporting the story on 04 Apr 2013, the ICIJ wrote that the financier appeared to have started the pyramid scheme after suffering a $5 million loss in 2005.
A bankruptcy administrator (Konkursverwalter) or receiver appointed by a US federal court said inter alia that a very well-connected Caracas stockbroker apparently got fees as high as $10 million per transaction for diverting large amounts of money into the pyramid scheme to keep it going, and an investments and insurance manager at the oil company collected $37.5 million for sending PdVSA pension money to Connecticut. The receiver has recovered $230 million from a bank in the Netherlands and is still hunting for the rest, writes the ICIJ. When the SEC started investigating in 2010, they discovered “intricate financial transactions and virtually zero bookkeeping.”
(SHNAY boll zyss dem.)