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Friday, 30 July 2010

NEWS FLASH AMERICAN INVESTORS TO GET SIPC COVERAGE

Good news for American Investors in Stanford's CD's, it now looks almost certain they will be receiving SIPC coverage. The following is an announcement made by Angela Shaw director and founder of the Stanford Victims Coalition.

SVC Members,

I am in Washington and am happy to announce that today Congressman Culberson (R-TX) introduced an amendment to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) to include extending SIPC coverage to Stanford investors. The amendment passed the subcommittee unanimously and was approved beforehand by the chairman of the subcommittee as well as the Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank. The language for the amendment was written by the SEC General Counsel after a meeting with Culberson this morning. Senator Hutchison has agreed to introduce the same amendment to the same bill on the Senate side and is quite excited to do so. The appropriations bill has to pass and this language was “protected” by frank and the appropriations subcommittee. The way this all came together today in the matter of only a few hours is truly unbelievable and I will share more specifics as I get them. I just wanted to share we have our first statute and it definitely gives us SIPC coverage!


Sincerely,

Angela Shaw
Director and Founder
Stanford Victims Coalition

Stanford’s former financial empire even murkier than originally reported

The one-time global financial empire of jailed former Stanford Financial Group chief Allen Stanford was even murkier than original media reports first indicated.

WMR has obtained a document that lists Stanford International Bank, Ltd. (SIBL) of Antigua and Barbuda depositors by country of origin. Depositors from 114 countries, including the United States, China, and Israel are listed.

The most surprising depositor listed was from Bouvet Island, a wind-swept and foreboding uninhabited and volcanically-active Norwegian island in the south Atlantic between South Africa and Antarctica. There is a reported Norwegian unmanned weather station on the island.

The use of Bouvet Island as a pass-through for investments in SIBL adds to the suspicions that Stanford’s bank became the new Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) for various intelligence agencies, including the CIA, Britain’s MI-6, and Mossad, for narcotics money laundering, weapons smuggling, and illegal payments to CIA and other intelligence and criminal syndicate clients around the world.

A spokesman for the Norwegian embassy in Washington, DC expressed surprise at the revelation that its uninhabited island had a depositor in SIBL in Antigua.

WMR has requested additional information from the Norwegian government on the possible use of one of its uninhabited dependencies for international money laundering.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Sticky Wicket under New Management

A local group, including DSC Promotions and Barracuda FC, will re-launch Sticky Wicket, which was once a part of Allen Stanford’s local empire, on July 28.

Operations at the gateway of VC Bird International Airport closed in early February after Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) suppressed electricity, Internet and water supply, owing to a bill that reportedly added up to $7 million for the restaurant and nearby Athletic Club.

Interests representing the one-time investor later said government owed Stanford Development Company (SDC) more than $11 million for Antigua & Barbuda Sales Tax returns.

One of the new principals of Sticky Wicket, Neil Cochrane, said a deal had been brokered between SDC and APUA, through which the utility services were restored.

In any event, the new managers are not concerning themselves with the politics surrounding neither Stanford, who is in a Texas jail awaiting trial for fraud and multiple violations of US securities law relating to an alleged $8 billion massive Ponzi scheme, nor the impasse between government and people representing him.

“We jumped at this opportunity because we think it is an excellent opportunity. Sticky Wicket has a strong brand name, it has high praise and a good reputation, and we see opportunities to expand on that, including the events capacity,” Cochrane said.

In addition to the restaurant, the lease arrangement also sees the group taking charge of the field, which will become the home of the Barracudas, Antigua’s only professional football team, which is part of the USL First Division.

Specific plans are under wraps for now, Cochrane said, but he noted that some of the old staff would be rehired.

As for the menu and ambiance, both will be tweaked “for a little more West Indian spice,” Cochrane added.

Asked about walking in Stanford’s shoes where standards are concerned, Cochrane said his outfit is up to the task.

“They are big shoes to fill but we are certainly able. DSC is also credited with excellence. With this venture, we have good synergy and the same high standards, even if we have less money than Stanford had, Cochrane said.

He pledged that the new operators would “maintain and actually enhance the establishment.”

Friday, 9 July 2010

Letter: Back investors in Stanford Case

My name is Richard A. Cochran. I am a 77-year-old Korean War veteran. I worked in the construction field for 47 years before retiring.

Like the Gulf Coast BP victims, I am a victim, along with many others. We are victims of a financial catastrophe I call turmoil, better known as the Robert Allen Stanford case, which has been going on since February 2009.

Stanford, a Texas financier, has been indicted and faces trial for allegedly defrauding thousands of investors — including numerous people in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Covington — of $7.2 billion. Stanford has denied wrongdoing.

The federal government agency called the Securities and Exchange Commission has a fiduciary responsibility to protect monies invested in financial institutions regulated by the SEC.

In 1997, SEC personnel reportedly suspected that Allen Stanford was using a Ponzi scheme to bilk the life savings from many unsuspecting people, and the SEC allegedly did nothing to stop him. The SEC Inspector General’s Office is looking into the SEC’s handling of the Stanford investigation.

Our catastrophe, like that of the BP victims, was not of our making. We have lost our life savings because of Allen Stanford and the SEC Enforcement Division’s alleged negligence in doing its job.

In my opinion, we are being treated brutally unfairly by the SEC, which has not authorized partial financial restitution to Stanford investors by the financial industry’s Securities Investor Protection Corp., as the SEC did for people who lost savings to confessed swindler Bernard Madoff.

I am pleading with the good people of the Baton Rouge area to help the Stanford investors become whole again by getting their money back. You may not realize it, but you probably know some of these victims. They are your family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.

Please call or write letters to your U.S. senators and representatives and your president on our behalf, asking that this injustice we are enduring come to an end. If it happened to us, it could happen to you.

Counting on your support,


Richard A. Cochran
operations manager, retired
Baton Rouge

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Allen Stanford Loses Bid for Bail Before Fraud Trial

Allen Stanford the Texas financier accused U.S. of leading a $7 billion investment-fraud scheme, lost another bid for pre-trial release.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston today denied Stanford’s request for bail for the third time, rejecting arguments that the 19 months he will spend in jail before his January trial add up to a violation of his constitutional rights and that he can’t adequately ready his case while locked up.

Although conditions at Houston’s federal detention center are “much less ‘posh’ than Stanford prefers, there is no evidence that it is so burdensome as to impede his ability to prepare for trial,” Hittner wrote. Prosecutors opposed the bid, arguing the financier might disappear if freed.

Stanford, 60, is accused in a 21-count indictment of defrauding those who bought certificates of deposit issued by his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. Held without bail since June 2009, he maintains his innocence.

Lead defense attorney, Robert Bennett of Houston, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz assisted in drafting the bail request.

The case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09cr342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

Monday, 5 July 2010

Feds probe banker Allen Stanford's ties to Congress



The Ponzi scheme was able to continue for so long due to “institutional influences” within the SEC.

As Feds Closed In, Stanford Boosted Efforts To Buy Influence...

Read more:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2009/12/27/v-fullstory/1399470/feds-probe-banker-allen-stanfords.html

Political contributions from Mr. Stanford and his affiliated companies. For which purpose?

$950,000 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
$238,500 National Republican Congressional Committee
$202,000 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
$128,500 Republican National Committee
$ 83,345 National Republican Senatorial Committee
$ 25,000 Rangel Victory Fund
$ 16,000 Friends of Chris Dodd
$ 14,000 Shelby for US Senate
$ 11,500 Chris Dodd for President
$ 10,000 New Jersey Democractic State Committee
$ 10,000 Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX)
$ 8,000 Friends for Harry Reid
$ 6,600 Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
$ 6,100 Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
$ 5,000 Americans for a Republic Majority PAC
$ 5,000 Friends of John Boehner
$ 5,000 Friends of Jay Rockefeller
$ 5,000 Delegate Donna Christensen (D-USVI)
$ 5,000 Representative Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)
$ 5,000 KPAC (affiliated with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas)
$ 5,000 Lone Star Fund
$ 5,000 Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY)
$ 5,000 Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS)
$ 4,600 Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (presidential campaign)
$ 4,550 Representative Dan Maffei (D-NY)
$ 4,000 Arcuri for Congress
$ 4,000 Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
$ 4,000 Representative Richard Neel (D-MA)
$ 4,000 Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
$ 3,300 Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY)
$ 3,300 Pete Olson for Congress
$ 3,000 Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC)
$ 3,000 Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)
$ 3,000 ERICPAC
$ 3,000 Leadership PAC 2006
$ 3,000 Alexander for Senate 2014, Inc.
$ 3,000 Mel Watt for Congress
$ 2,550 Representative Eric Massa (D-NY)
$ 2,550 Representative Mike McMahon (D-NY)
$ 2,500 Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)
$ 2,500 Freedom Fund
$ 2,500 Representative Timothy Johnson (R-IL)
$ 2,500 Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-PA)
$ 2,500 Senator Mary Landreiu (D-LA)
$ 2,500 Representative John Lewis (D-GA)
$ 2,500 Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
$ 2,500 National Leadership PAC
$ 2,500 Friends of Mark Warner
$ 2,500 Representative Adam Putnam (R-FL)
$ 2,500 Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR)
$ 2,500 Former Senator John Sunnunu (R-NH)
$ 2,500 Representative John Tanner (D-TN)
$ 2,500 Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
$ 2,500 Collins for Senator
$ 2,500 Campaign Account of Robert Wexler
$ 2,300 Minnick for Congress
$ 2,300 Representative John Boccieri (D-OH)
$ 2,300 Representative Deborah Halvorson (D-IL)
$ 2,300 Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
$ 2,300 Olson-Texas Victory Committee
$ 2,300 Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS)
$ 2,100 Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
$ 2,000 Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
$ 2,000 Neugebauer Congressional Committee
$ 2,000 Lloyd Doggett for Congress
$ 2,000 People for Patty Murray
$ 2,000 Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
$ 2,000 Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)
$ 2,000 Reprentative Kevin Brady (R-TX)
$ 2,000 Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
$ 2,000 Representative Dave Camp (R-MI)
$ 2,000 LEADPAC
$ 2,000 Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
$ 2,000 Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX)
$ 2,000 Representative Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
$ 2,000 Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ)
$ 1,500 Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX)
$ 1,500 Representative Peter King (R-NY)
$ 1,500 Representative Kendrick Meek (D-FL)
$ 1,500 David Scott for Congress
$ 1,500 Charles Boustany Jr. MD for Congress
$ 1,000 Representative Joe Barton (R-TX)
$ 1,000 Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)
$ 1,000 Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
$ 1,000 Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
$ 1,000 Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN)
$ 1,000 Former Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
$ 1,000 Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND)
$ 1,000 Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX)
$ 1,000 Freedom Funds - Mike Crapo, Honorary Chairman
$ 1,000 Barney Frank for Congress Committee
$ 1,000 Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
$ 1,000 Marsha Blackburn for Congress
$ 500 Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN)

US Receiver Interim Report Regarding Status of Receivership

In page 14 the Receiver states:
"The Receiver is aware that any interim distribution will involve significant fees and expenses, and the magnitude of such costs ultimately may influence significantly the timing and amount of any distribution. The Receiver will confer with the SEC and the Examiner with respect to a cost-benefit analysis of the timing and amount of any interim distribution"

Interim Report June 2010

Friday, 2 July 2010

SEC OIG Re: Spencer Barasch

From the Executive Summary of the SEC Inspector General’s Report of Investigation on the Allen Stanford debacle:

Finally, the OIG investigation revealed that the former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth, who played a significant role in numerous decisions by the Fort Worth office to deny investigations of Stanford, sought to represent Stanford on three separate occasions after he left the SEC, and represented Stanford briefly in 2006 before he was informed by the SEC Ethics Office that it was improper to do so.

This former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth was responsible for: (1) in 1998, deciding to close a MUI opened regarding Stanford after the 1997 broker-dealer examination; (2) in 2002, deciding to forward the [redacted] complaint letter to the TSSB and deciding not respond to the [redacted] complaint or investigate the issues it raised; (3) in 2002, deciding not to act on the Examination staff’s referral of Stanford for investigation after its investment adviser examination; (4) in 2003, participation in a decision not to investigate Stanford after receiving [Confidential Source]’s complaint letter comparing Stanford’s operations to the [redacted] fraud; (5) in 2003, participating in a decision not to investigate Stanford after receiving the complaint letter from an anonymous insider alleging that Stanford was engaged in a “massive Ponzi scheme;” and (6) in 2005, informing senior Examination staff after a presentation was made on Stanford at a quarterly summit meeting that Stanford was not a matter they planned to investigate.

Yet, in June 2005, a mere two months after leaving the SEC, this former head of the Enforcement in Fort Worth e-mailed the SEC Ethics Office that he had been “approached about representing [Stanford] . . . in connection with (what appears to be) a preliminary inquiry by the Fort Worth office.” He further stated, “I am not aware of any conflicts and I do not remember any matters pending on Stanford while I was at the commission.”

After the SEC Ethics Office denied his request in June 2005, in September 2006, Stanford retained this former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth to assist with inquiries Stanford was receiving from regulatory authorities, including the SEC. He met with Stanford Financial Group’s General Counsel in Stanford’s Miami office and billed Stanford for his time. Following the meeting, he billed 6.5 hours to Stanford on October 4, 2006, for, inter alia, “review[ing] documentation received from company about SEC and NASD inquiries.” On October 12, 2006, he billed Stanford 0.7 hours for a “[t]elephone conference with [Stanford Financial Group’s General Counsel] regarding status of SEC and NASD matters.” In late November 2006, he called his former subordinate, the Assistant Director who was working on the Stanford matter in Fort Worth, who asked him during the conversation, “[C]an you work on this?” and who in fact told him, “I’m not sure you’re able to work on this.” Near the time of this call, he belatedly sought permission from the SEC’s Ethics Office to represent Stanford. The SEC Ethics office replied that he could not represent Stanford for the same reasons given a year earlier and he discontinued his representation.

In February 2009, immediately after the SEC sued Stanford, this same former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth contacted the SEC Ethics Office a third time about representing Stanford in connection with the SEC matter – this time to defend Stanford against the lawsuit filed by the SEC. An SEC Ethics official testified that he could not recall another occasion in which a former SEC employee contacted his office on three separate occasions trying to represent a client in the same matter. After the SEC Ethics Office informed him for a third time that he could not represent Stanford, the former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth became upset with the decision, arguing that the matter pending in 2009 “was new and was different and unrelated to the matter that had occurred before he left.” When asked why he was so insistent on representing Stanford, he replied, “Every lawyer in Texas and beyond is going to get rich over this case. Okay? And I hated being on the sidelines.”

The OIG investigation found that the former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth’s representation of Stanford appeared to violate state bar rules that prohibit a former government employee from working on matters in which that individual participated as a government employee. Accordingly, we are referring this Report of Investigation to the Commission’s Ethics Counsel for referral to the Office of Bar Counsel for the District of Columbia and the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, the states in which he is admitted to practice law.

SEC Enforcement Lawyer Who Quashed Stanford Probes Later Did Legal Work For Stanford

The new inspector general report on the SEC's handling of the Allen Stanford alleged Ponzi scheme case paints a devastating picture of the agency's repeated failures to pursue the billionaire banker, despite a widespread belief within the SEC's Fort Worth office that he was a fraud.

At the centre of the story is Spencer Barasch, the chief of enforcement at the SEC's Fort Worth office, who declined to pursue Stanford multiple times, only to later jump ship to become a partner at a big private law firm where he proceeded to represent none other than 'Sir' Allen Stanford.

In fact, the IG found, Barasch was involved in deciding at least four times to close investigations of Stanford Financial or to not pursue findings by SEC investigators that the firm was a fraud.

This former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth was responsible for: (1) in1998, deciding to close a MUI opened regarding Stanford after the 1997broker-dealer examination; (2) in 2002, deciding to forward the[redacted] complaint letter to the TSSB and deciding not respond to the[redacted] complaint or investigate the issues it raised; (3) in 2002,deciding not to act on the Examination staff’s referral of Stanford for investigation after its investment adviser examination; (4) in 2003,participation in a decision not to investigate Stanford after receiving[Confidential Source]’s complaint letter comparing Stanford’s operations to the [redacted] fraud; (5) in 2003, participating in a decision not to investigate Stanford after receiving the complaint letter from an anonymous insider alleging that Stanford was engaged in a “massive Ponzi scheme;” and (6) in 2005, informing senior Examination staff after a presentation was made on Stanford at a quarterly summit meeting that Stanford was not a matter they planned to investigate.


The OIG investigation found that the former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth’s representation of Stanford appeared to violate state bar rules that prohibit a former government employee from working on matters in which that individual participated as a government employee. Accordingly, we are referring this Report of Investigation to the Commission’s Ethics Counsel for referral to the Office of Bar Counsel for the District of Columbia and the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, the states in which he is admitted to practice law.

The inspector general David Kotz has referred Barasch to the bars of Washington and Texas, where he is licensed, for potential violation of conflict of interest rules.

In March 2005, Barasch announced he was leaving the SEC after 17 years, with seven of those as the head of the Fort Worth enforcement division, for the international law firm Andrews Kurth. He joined the firm's securities enforcement team.

A couple months later, Stanford Financial Group executives were looking for representation to help them handle a burgeoning SEC inquiry in to the company. They got wind of Barasch's new gig and word made its way up to Stanford himself, who said in an email to an underling, "This guy looks good and probably knows everyone at the Fort Worth office. Good job."

A few days later, Barasch emailed an SEC ethics counsel to get the green light to work for Stanford. "I am not aware of any conflicts and I do not remember any matters pending on Stanford while I was at the Commission," he wrote.

Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua – White List or White Wash? – Kahnawake Gambles!

Antigua & Barbuda's application for entry onto the UK's extremely valuable White List was rejected in 2007.

In December 2009, the jurisdiction was white-listed after having "substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development."

White listing now enables Antiguan licensees to advertise their gaming services within the UK.

This listing has continued despite the huge banking scandal that has adversely affected thousands of investors worldwide as a direct consequence of the criminal activities of Stanford International Bank, Antigua's largest bank, with the complicity of Leroy King, former head of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission.

In the same way, the ponderous lack of extradition of Leroy King has escaped recognition.

Long forgotten, are the two significant Advisories placed on the entire Island of Antigua by both the UK and the US Treasuries, which were lifted after the Antiguan Government was forced to remove Stanford from his position of influence over financial regulation.

Long forgotten is a US Senate report highlighting concerns about Antigua's links to correspondent banking. Described at the time by the U.S. Department of Justice as "the largest case of non-drug-related money laundering every brought to justice," the case was significant enough to warrant inclusion in a report dated February 5, 2001, produced by the Minority Staff of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, entitled Correspondent Banking: A Gateway to Money Laundering.

Meanwhile, one of the world's largest and strongest banks, HSBC, headquartered in London, with intoxicating correspondent banking relationships with Stanford, approved by regulators in London, Antigua, Caymans and the USA, is mired in the criminal activities of R. Allen Stanford's certificate of deposit frauds.

However, more recently, and much more disturbingly, it has been revealed that HSBC is deeply implicated in frauds involving hitherto supposedly secure interbank transfer of funds.

Incredibly, despite this, Kahnawake, a sovereign territory of the Mohawk region located outside Montreal, Quebec, Canada has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which is to be enacted in three months with the Antigua & Barbuda Financial Services Regulatory Commission.

A press release last week announced that the MOU "is designed to recognise the inter-connectedness of remote gaming regulators – providing operators an unprecedented degree of flexibility for their licensing and hosting needs – while respecting the independence and international obligations of each jurisdiction."

According to Caribarena.com, Director of Gaming Kaye McDonald claimed, "Antigua and Barbuda internet gaming companies that are licensed, supervised and regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission will have access to a wider bandwidth and technical services... to support their global gaming business ... in Kahnawake,"

She said. "They will be authorised, once the amendments in our gaming regulations are completed, to have authorization to be located in the Mohawk internet technology base centre..."

So, as a gambler, a simple question remains, does a jurisdiction where the largest bank in Antigua, the Stanford International Bank, has failed due to the most serious criminality, the head of financial regulation is desperately fighting extradition and the country is happy to expropriate foreign owned property, will you get a fair bet and receive your winnings? You decide!