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Today’s special report, “Pension fund scandal shakes up Venezuelan oil giant,” examines state oil company PDVSA and the problems it has exploiting what are said by OPEC to be the world’s largest known reserves of crude oil.
At the heart of the latest scandal is a Connecticut hedge fund manager named Francisco Illarramendi who has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of wire fraud, securities and investment advisor fraud. Prosecutors say he ran a Ponzi scheme that lost up to half a billion dollars, most of it money that had been entrusted to Illarramendi by PDVSA’s pension fund.
Check out this interactive graphic which shows how Venezuela has taken the top spot in terms of world oil reserves.
This one shows how despite rising estimates of the country’s reserves, PDVSA’s production has actually declined in the decade since Chavez came to power.
The results of Venezuela’s parliamentary election are in and, as we said in last week’s special report, it’s not enough to win the popular vote. The opposition to President Hugo Chavez say they have won 52 percent of the vote, but that gives them only a third of the seats in parliament. Read our latest story here.
Still, it was a major blow to Chavez and raises opposition hopes of defeating him at the next presidential election in 2012.
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