Bartoli, accused mastermind of $65 million Ponzi scheme, busted in Peru


A view of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on May 3, 2013 in Washington, DC.


Brendan Smialowski

Eric Bartoli, the accused mastermind of a $65 million scam featured on "American Greed: The Fugitives," has been apprehended by authorities in Lima, Peru, after 10 years on the run.

The former securities broker is on the FBI's most wanted list for his alleged involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

Between 1995 and 1999, Bartoli operated Cyprus Funds, an Ohio-based company incorporated in Central America and South America. It allegedly sold certificates of deposit and unregistered mutual funds to about 800 investors, including retirees. But rather than invest the money, he allegedly funneled it back into his own business interests or used it to support his lavish lifestyle.

Read more: Viewers tip off FBI; fugitive captured

A warrant for his arrest was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, on Oct. 15, 2003. Charged in a 10-count federal indictment included conspiracy, securities fraud and money laundering.

In a press release, Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony, of the FBI's Cleveland field office, acknowledged the role of international law enforcement in capturing Bartoli.

"A team of Cleveland and international FBI resources worked closely with the Peruvian authorities to locate and apprehend Eric Bartoli," he said. "We hope that the long-awaited prosecution of Bartoli will provide some satisfaction to the many individuals he defrauded."

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Bartoli's activities were detailed in the Aug. 8, 2012, airing of "American Greed: The Fugitives," in an episode titled "Main Street Double Cross." Charles Schaeffer, executive producer of "American Greed: The Fugitives," said in an email that he was pleased that the case could now go to court.

"We couldn't be happier that fugitive Eric Bartoli has been arrested and will have his day in court to defend himself against these serious charges," he said. "Hopefully justice will be found for the victims who have lost so much."

—By CNBC's Daniel Bukszpan

For information regarding Eric Bartoli's activities, go to "American Greed: The Fugitives #2." Check for upcoming show times.

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