SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 16879 / January 31, 2001
FEDERAL COURT JUDGE HOLDS SILVANA BARTOLI, WIFE OF DEFENDANT ERIC V. BARTOLI, IN CIVIL CONTEMPT
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Latin American Services Co., Ltd., Cyprus Funds, Inc., Eric V. Bartoli, Douglas R. Shisler, James L. Binge And Peter J. Esposito, Case No. 99-2360-CIV-UNGARO-BENAGES (S.D. Fla.)
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced that on January 26, 2001, the Honorable Ursula Ungaro-Benages of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an Order holding Silvana Bartoli ("Bartoli") in civil contempt for failing to comply with a previous Court Order commanding that she appear for her deposition and produce documents to the SEC and Court-appointed Receiver. Bartoli failed to appear at the hearing and is believed to have fled the country with her husband, Defendant Eric V. Bartoli, principal of Cyprus Funds, Inc. ("Cyprus Funds"), an unregistered foreign mutual fund, and its investment advisor Latin American Services Co., Ltd. (Lasco), which bilked investors out of over $65,000,000.
Judge Ungaro-Benages held that Bartoli "willfully and intentionally failed to appear at the civil contempt hearing" and found her in contempt. As sanctions for her past and continued civil contempt, the Court extended the asset freeze previously imposed by the Court upon Defendants' property to include any assets owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by Bartoli. The Court also authorized the sale of certain real property believed to have been purchased with investor funds but held in the name of Bartoli, as well as the sale of jewelry seized in the Bartolis' home. The proceeds from those sales are to be held pending further order of the Court.