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Press Release

Eric Bartoli, fugititive for more than a decade, is in custody in the U.S. and scheduled to appear in court Thursday

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

Eric V. Bartoli, who was indicted in 2003 and was a fugitive for more than a decade, is in custody in the United States, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI, and IRS Special Agent in Charge Kathy Enstrom.

Bartoli is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge John Adams Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Akron to be arraigned on a 10-count indictment.

Bartoli is accused of operating a large-scale ponzi scheme from 1995 through 1999.  Bartoli allegedly 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 allegedly 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 include 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.

A 10-count federal indictment was filed against Bartoli in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in October 2003. He was charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, sale of unregistered securities, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and attempted income tax evasion.

Bartoli has been featured on shows including American Greed and Life on the Run, among others.

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.

“The fact that this man is back on American soil and will finally stand before a judge to answer to these charges is a tribute to all who have worked on this case,” Dettelbach said. “They never stopped pursuing justice for the victims.”

“A little over 12 years past the date of indictment, Bartoli's life on the run has come to an end,” Anthony said. “The over 800 investors will now have some closure by seeing that the FBI, in cooperation with our international partners, never gave up and has brought this fugitive to justice.”

“Honest and law-abiding citizens are fed up with those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with other people’s money,” Enstrom said. “Tax evasion and fraud of this magnitude, and with this degree of trickery, dishonesty and deceit, deserves to be punished.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Antoinette T. Bacon and Miranda Dugi following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentences will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases they will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated October 28, 2015

Financial Fraud