Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford, ahora disponible en español en:

Monday, 28 February 2011

Forensic accountant gives Stanford investors a little hope

They have so much riding on such slim hope, but it may be all they have left.

For two years, Stanford Financial Group's victims have struggled with the grim reality of their situation. Not only is their money gone, but every safety net has failed them. Now, they're hoping a new finding by a forensic accountant will give them a better chance at getting some of their money back.

Last week, investors circulated a declaration by FTI Consulting, an accounting firm hired by receiver Ralph Janvey to determine whether Stanford investors should be covered by the Securities Investor Protection Corp.

The ruling found that money that was supposed to buy certificates of deposit at Stanford's Antiguan bank was diverted for other purposes.

The finding "100 percent supports the legal argument we've made" to get investors covered by SIPC, Angela Shaw, the head of the Stanford Victims Coalition, said in an e-mail sent to other investors.

After all, SIPC is covering some of the losses for Bernie Madoff's victims because he never bought the stocks he told clients he'd bought for them.

While the two cases may seem similar, they aren't. Nothing about the accountant's findings in the Stanford case changes SIPC's determination that investors aren't covered, said Stephen Harbeck, SIPC's chief executive.

"We don't see a customer that we can protect," he said.

SIPC doesn't cover lost investment value, even if there may be fraud involved. Stanford investors' money may have been diverted, but the CDs did exist and the bank still had records of investors owning them, the accountant's report found. What was falsified, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, was the assets that backed up those CDs.

Hoping SEC will step in
Stanford investors, though, hope the FTI report will encourage the SEC, which missed so many warnings about Stanford for so long, to ask SIPC to extend the coverage. So far, it hasn't. The SEC could even sue SIPC to compel it to cover Stanford's victims, but that's never happened.

"In this instance, both parties agree that there's no cause to initiate coverage," Harbeck said. "We were not designed to replace the initial purchase price when a security goes down in value."

That, of course, is not what Stanford victims want to hear. And who can blame them? After all, they weren't chasing exorbitant returns on risky investments. They thought they were buying a safe haven � low-risk CDs - in a time of market turmoil. In many cases, they were following the advice of their trusted brokers.

Confusing to investors
SIPC is a narrowly defined insurance fund. The arcane details of its limitations have confused investors for years - at least the few who were even aware it existed.

In creating SIPC, Congress was careful to insure against broker misconduct, but not to shield investors from risk that, recent Wall Street bailouts aside, is supposed to be a part of investing.

The Stanford case, though, raises the question of whether that law needs amending.

After all, the SEC claims Stanford brokers peddled the bogus CDs, collecting commissions for selling them to clients of the company's brokerage operation, which was a SIPC member.

In other words, SIPC coverage enhanced the veneer of credibility that Stanford used to sell itself to investors, and the FTI report describes a SIPC member firm that was diverting funds from customer purchases without the customers' knowledge. The fact that the alleged fraud wasn't quite as blatant as Madoff's - an obfuscation instead of an outright lie - is a hairline distinction with multibillion-dollar consequences.

Improvements ahead?
Given all the damage from Stanford's collapse, perhaps some good can yet come from the ashes. Perhaps Congress can review the law and build better protections for future investors.

SIPC touts itself as investors' first line of defense. For Stanford investors, it may be their last hope.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Stanford, Libya Connected Through Alleged Ponzi Scheme

In January of 2009, accused ponzi scheme financier Allen Stanford and his girlfriend, Andrea Stoelker, boarded one of Stanford's private jets for an exotic yet fateful trip. First stop: Tripoli, Libya.

The global financial crisis was at its worst, and Stanford, like nearly every other banker in the world, was trying hard to keep his empire afloat.

Libya, which had only recently won fully normalized relations with the U.S., would throw Stanford a major lifeline, according to court filings: The Libyan government's sovereign wealth fund invested some $500 million with Stanford, who left Libya the next day along with Stoelker and an unidentified third person, bound for Zurich, Switzerland.

But three weeks later, it all fell apart. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission accused Stanford of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, and a court froze all the firm's assets—including, presumably, Libya's money.

It had been widely believed that the Gaddafi regime was one of the largest victims of the alleged Stanford scam, in which investors have thus far recovered less than three cents on the dollar.

But now, CNBC has learned Libya may have managed to withdraw much of its Stanford investment just before the firm collapsed, according to a source close to the case. If true, it would have been a stunningly fast trade that thousands of much smaller investors were unable to make.

All the deposits and withdrawals by Stanford investors are being closely examined by a court-appointed receiver, Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey, who has already filed hundreds of millions of dollars in "clawback" claims against investors who allegedly withdrew money they were not entitled to.

There was no immediate comment from Janvey's team on whether he plans to pursue a claim against Libya. If Stanford's empire was, in fact, a Ponzi scheme, attorneys could argue that the money invested by Libya was owed to earlier investors, so that money returned to Libya would constitute a fraudulent transfer.

The last-minute investment with Stanford by the Libyan government has been the subject of renewed speculation now that the government has fallen into chaos and Libya's U.S. assets have been frozen.

In a 2010 State Department cable uncovered by WikiLeaks, the head of Libya's sovereign wealth fund is said to have told the U.S. ambassador that the fund turned down investment requests from Stanford and convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff. But a source close to the case tells CNBC Libya did indeed invest with Stanford, "to the tune of nine figures."

Allen Stanford, who is currently undergoing drug treatment at a prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina, has denied wrongdoing.

In a 2009 bail hearing, prosecutors cited the January trip to Libya as evidence Stanford had the means to flee.

But his attorney at the time, Dick DeGuerin, argued the trip was above board.

"In fact, Mr. Stanford applied through the State Department and the embassy, the Libyan embassy in Washington, DC, to travel to Libya to develop business there," DeGuerin said according to a transcript of the hearing. "The state department of the United States is encouraging American business, now that the travel ban and the business ban is over with, to develop business there. That's why Mr. Stanford was there."

The judge in the case sided with the government, ruling Stanford's international ties made him a flight risk. He has been held without bail ever since, and his trial—which could shed more light on the Libyan connection—has been put indefinitely on hold.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Declaration of Karyl Van Tassel

SGC Forensic Accounting

I Obtained an Update from Vantis

I called into the SIB building yesterday and spoke to Sara Cook from Vantis to try and find out what was going on and when we can expect some sort of solution regarding the receivership on Antigua. It would appear that there is no final decision or court date in sight to settle this matter and she says they will keep appealing to any court decision that tries to oust them from their position as receivers.

I also asked about the properties on the island and why Andrea Stolker (Stanford Fiancee') was being allowed to open properties that clearly were paid for with SIB money and she said the Stolker has power of Attorney from Stanford and they have been unable to prove that the properties I was revering to (The Sticky Wicket, Pavilion Restaurant, Stanford Boathouse and the Athletics Club) came from SIB. They say they do not have the money trail to be able to prove in court that Victims money was used for the purchase of these properties. It would appear that Janvey has the proof they need and he will not give the info to them. Anyway, I have pasted a copy of her email below.

Dear Wendyanne,

Further to our recent discussion I can confirm that we can only provide you details of properties owned by SIB, we do not know 100% who owns the other properties are we are not appointed over the other companies. However from what enquiries we have undertaken we believe that the Stanford properties not owned by SIB are owned by Stanford Development Company Ltd (“SDC”).

We currently cannot go to court in Antigua as we do not have the records to support a claim that SIB ultimately funded the purchase of the properties not owned by SIB. I note your point regarding the Van Tassel report however this would not be sufficient evidence on its own to support a claim through the Antiguan courts.

Once a co operation agreement with the U.S Receiver is ratified by both courts we can ask for further information on funds flow to pursue other property on the Island.

This agreement cannot be ratified by the courts until the removal application has been dealt with.

The properties owned by SIB which we are seeking potential purchasers are as follow:

The Building occupied by ECAB at Coolidge
Pelican Island
Guaina Island and surrounding land
Two small plots of land at Coolidge
Athletic Club

I hope this offers you some clarity in respect of the current position.

Kind regards

Sarah

For and on behalf of the Joint Liquidators

Investors Cite Inattention by Regulators

Blaine Smith, of Baton Rouge, says each new revelation of inattention by state and federal regulators to the dealings of investment promoter Robert Allen Stanford intensifies the pain felt by those who lost their savings to the man.

More than $1 million of Smith’s retirement savings vanished in February 2009, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Stanford orchestrated more than $7.2 billion in frauds against more than 25,000 investors across this country and 112 others.

Two years later, the Dallas receiver appointed by a federal judge to find and recover Stanford’s assets for eventual distribution to devastated investors reports that he has only $77.1 million in unrestricted cash.

The receiver, attorney Ralph Janvey, added in his report this month that he actually recovered $188.3 million. But fees and expenses ate up $46.2 million of that total. Another $14.4 million in fees and expenses are subject to court approval for Janvey’s team of lawyers, accountants, investigators and clerical staff.

The first claim against any money that remains in the receivership after fees and expenses is that of the IRS, which wants $226 million for Stanford’s alleged unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.

Smith spent more than 20 years with Exxon and also worked as a homebuilder before Stanford’s chief financial officer, James M. Davis, of Baldwyn, Miss., pleaded guilty to fraud charges and admitted that Stanford’s investments had been a scam.

But Smith’s personal pain increased last year, when the SEC inspector general reported that some of the commission’s regulators concluded in 1997 that Stanford’s operations likely were fraudulent. The IG reported that SEC examiners in Fort Worth asked four times that Stanford be investigated for possible fraud, but their requests were ignored.

Repeatedly, people who lost savings to Stanford have asked the SEC to authorize the Securities Investor Protection Corp. to cover some of their losses. SIPC, created by Congress in 1970, is funded by the financial services industry.

SIPC spread more than $500 million among some of the thousands of people defrauded by confessed swindler Bernard Madoff. To date, however, SIPC coverage has not been extended to Stanford victims.

"Our families are being kicked to the curb in the twilight of our lives," Smith said recently.

Bills to reimburse at least some Stanford investors for some of their losses have been filed in Congress. But none has become law.

Janvey initially attempted to claw back nearly $1 billion that some lucky Stanford investors retrieved in the months before the SEC shut down the man's operations. The receiver took that action against the advice of the SEC, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled Janvey could not retrieve a dime of innocent investors' principal.

Broken investors in other countries are watching this tense tragedy play out in Congress and federal courts.

They're desperate, too. And they hope they won’t be left behind if Congress and the SEC eventually require SIPC to compensate Stanford investors in this country.

Stanford, 60, continues to deny felony charges pending against him in Houston. He continues to ask federal courts to release him from custody. His trial was postponed indefinitely last month after he was discovered to be addicted to anti-depressants. He is under treatment at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Law Firms Sued in Stanford Case

An investors committee in Dallas is suing law firms in Baton Rouge and New Orleans and five individuals for more than $337 million lost at Stanford Trust Co.

The Official Stanford Investors Committee serves as a watchdog over a court-appointed receiver for assets recovered on behalf of approximately 25,000 people worldwide who said they lost a combined total of $7.2 billion in savings to firms of Houston entrepreneur Robert Allen Stanford. Some of the investors reside in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Covington areas.

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP of Baton Rouge, and one of the firm's partners, Claude Reynaud Jr., are among the defendants named in the civil lawsuit.

Reynaud was a member of the board of directors of Stanford Trust Co. in Baton Rouge, according to the suit. Plaintiffs allege that Reynaud should have known that Stanford was operating a fraudulent scheme.

We didn't do anything wrong, "Scott N. Hensgens, managing partner for Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, said late Tuesday. "Claude didn't do anything wrong, either. We think this is frivolous."

Hensgens added that the Baton Rouge firm "fully supports discovery of the truth behind the activities of Stanford... and the recoupment of losses for any investors that were defrauded."

Hensgens noted, however, that the investors committee also filed suits last week against other defendants, including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and several related charities.

The committee is seeking the return of $7.3 million that some Stanford businesses are alleged to have contributed to St. Jude and the other organizations, court records show.

All of the suits were filed shortly before the Feb. 17 deadline for such claims, Hensgens noted.

We believe that this last minute, shotgun approach is strongly indicative of the lack of merit to the purported claims against BSW and Mr. Reynaud," Hensgens added.

The New Orleans firm of Adams and Reese LLP is the target of similar allegations in the Dallas law suit.

Charles P. Adams Jr., managing partner for that law firm, said: "Adams and Reese has no comment other than to say that the firm has obtained a copy of the suit and looks forward to vindicating itself in court."

Also sued by the investors committee are former Stanford counsel Michael Contorno of Texas, and former trust officials J.D. Perry and Rebecca Hamric, both of Texas, and former trust official Louis Fournet of Louisiana.

Court records show the committee filed suit against the Louisiana defendants after winning approval for that action from Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey.

Janvey is the receiver who was appointed by a federal judge in early 2009 to track down and seize as many Stanford assets as possible for eventual distribution to investors who lost their money to Stanford’s ventures.

In a court report filed this month, Janvey said he has seized assets worth $188 million. But he added that his receivership team’s fees and expenses total more than $60 million. Janvey also said the IRS has a claim for $226 million in taxes, penalties and interest allegedly owed by Stanford.

The investors committee found attorneys in New York, San Antonio and Dallas, court records show. Committee members and Janvey stated in court records that those attorneys agreed to represent the committee for a contingency fee of 25 percent of all assets they recover.

Stanford, 60, has been in federal custody since he was indicted in Houston in June 2009. He denies that his sale of $7.2 billion in certificates of deposit at a Caribbean bank and other investments amounted to a fraudulent scheme.

The Texan was scheduled for trial last month, but won an indefinite postponement after his attorneys said he developed an addiction to prescription drugs after suffering head injuries during a jail fight.

Stanford is undergoing addiction treatment in federal custody, court records show. He is at the Federal Medical Center at Butner, N.C., according to the federal Bureau of Prisons" website.

Lloyds of London sues former Stanford executives

Three former Stanford Financial Group executives are being sued by Lloyds of London and Arch Specialty Insurance Co. over the executives' claims for directors and officers liability insurance.

Yolanda Suarez, Juan Rodriguez-Tolentino and Pablo M. “Mauricio” Alvarado are named in the lawsuit which was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division.

The underwriters claim that the trio are not entitled to claim directors and officers insurance, known as D&O insurance, because of the Ponzi scheme claims against them.

R. Allen Stanford, former head of Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, is awaiting trial for his role in an alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme involving certificates of deposit.

Suarez was chief of staff for Stanford Financial Group Co. and the secretary and a board member for Stanford Group Holdings Inc. — two of the many Stanford entities allegedly involved in the Ponzi scheme. Rodriguez-Tolentino was president of Stanford International Bank, and Alvarado was general counsel of Stanford Financial Group.

Ralph Janvey, the Dallas-based court-appointed receiver for the Stanford matter has already filed lawsuits against Suarez, Rodriguez-Tolentino and Alvarado to get back nearly $9.9 million Janvey said the defendants had received from CD proceeds.

The case is Certain Underwriters At Lloyd’s of London in Syndicates 2987, 2488, 1866, 1084, 1274, 4000 & 1183 et al v. Tolentino et al, 3:11-cv-00360-B.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Allen Stanford Receiver to Argue for SocGen Subpoena Feb. 28

Lawyers for R. Allen Stanford’s U.S. court-appointed receiver are scheduled to appear with those for a Societe Generale unit before a federal judge to resolve a dispute over subpoenaed records.

U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas set a hearing for Feb. 28 to address the disagreement between the Lausanne, Switzerland-based unit of the Paris-based bank and the receivership overseeing the indicted financier’s businesses.

Citing Swiss banking secrecy laws, Societe Generale Private Banking (Suisse) SA has objected to receiver Ralph Janvey’s Dec. 13 subpoena demanding that the bank turn over all of its records after Jan. 1, 2000, for accounts held by Stanford personally or by his businesses.

“Production of the requested documents would force SG Suisse and its officers and employees to violate Swiss substantive law,” including laws prohibiting the release of the type of records Janvey seeks, the bank said in a Feb. 7 court filing.

Stanford, 60, is civilly and criminally accused by the U.S. of leading a $7 billion investment-fraud scheme through the sale of certificates of deposit by his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed its enforcement proceeding against the Texas financier two years ago Feb. 18. The receivership is recovering money to repay Stanford’s investors and creditors.

The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank Ltd., 09-cv-00298, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). The criminal case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09-cr-00342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

Friday, 18 February 2011

DISMAY AS OFFICIAL STANFORD INVESTORS COMMITTEE FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST ST JUDE’S CHILDREN’S CANCER HOSPITAL CHARITY

On this day today, the second anniversary of the civil action by the SEC against the Stanford Financial Group, wholly owned by Allen Stanford awaiting trial on 23 counts of fraud in Texas, allegedly too incompetent to stand trial after being beaten-up in prison and fed a cocktail of anti-depressants. What have we learned?

Firstly Allen Stanford is apparently competent enough today to file a lawsuit against the US prosecutors, the FBI and SEC, accusing them of ‘abusive law enforcement’ and seeking $7.2bn in damages. Since he was declared indigenous after Lloyds of London contested their officer’s insurance policy, following the hiring and firing of a carousel of well tailored attorneys, he is now represented by two public defenders. It begs the question who is paying for his lawsuit, and how did he miraculously recover well enough to instruct them.

Now he has recovered, please let the criminal trial begin, and that $7.2bn would also be the same amount the innocent victims of the alleged Stanford fraud have lost. If he’s so innocent, where‘s the money?

On this day today, the Statute of Limitations for any lawsuits in connection with the Stanford case also expired.

Three months ago we woke up to the fact the so-called (SIC) Stanford Investors Committee was going to do nothing very much to help us, so we found a new attorney and launched our own campaign to file FTCA claims against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for their negligence in not closing down Stanford sooner. They knew he was a fraud 13 years ago. Some of the SEC were merely asleep on the job, while others were caught with their pants down watching porn on their computers. The campaign has been a resounding success, and several thousand Stanford investors have now filed claims.

On this day today, we also anticipated a flood of claims from the receiver and the (SIC) Stanford Investors Committee, who have reportedly been toiling away tirelessly for several months in total secrecy, all in our best interests.

We anticipated a plethora of lawsuits against, amongst others;

BDO Seidman, one of the worlds largest accounting firms, who audited Stanford Group Company, and who fudged their accounts four years running to hide from SIPC it was insolvent and only being supported by tainted funds from SIB in Antigua.

FINRA, who twice fined Stanford for misleading investors, a mere slap on the wrist, but despite all the red flags, could see no further..

The State of Florida, who through their Dept of Banking and Finance granted the newly formed (in 1998) Stanford Fiduciary Investor Services, the illegal right to move vast amounts of money offshore without the reporting a penny to regulators. Yes, Jeb Bush the brother of former President George W Bush became Governor of Florida earlier that same year, and both were recipients of generous campaign donations from Allen Stanford.

Greenburg Traurig, the deep pocketed Miami lawfirm who lobbied endlessly to set up Stanfords Florida deal, and who have been implicated in numerous other murky transactions.

Forbes, and who could forget their endorsement of Stanford as one of Americas richest 40 billionaires with $50bn under management. They gave Stanford his greatest aura of credibility.

One would have anticipated, with four experienced attorneys on the (SIC) Stanford Investors Committee; together with the examiner, the receiver, and Angela Shaw Kogutt, the director and founder of the SVC; these would all be rich pickings; but did they choose to file any suits against any of these? No, not one.

On this day today, sadly, we learned they chose instead to file a suit against St Jude’s, the children’s cancer research hospital charity who give hope to sick children and their families. Allen Stanford donated $7m towards St Jude’s, quite possibly the only truly good deed the ‘Knight’ ever did. No matter where those funds came from, there is one indisputable fact; St Jude’s received and spent them in good faith to keep a lot of sick kids alive, and who can begrudge them that?

On this day today, it should have been the day we were all celebrating having made the first step towards recovery from the US Government, who knew for 13 years that Allen Sanford was a fraud, but did nothing. Instead I am sickened that the Stanford Investors Committee, who supposedly act in our best interests, could have instigated such a callous and insensitive action against such a deserving institution as St Jude’s without our knowledge, and without our consent.

To all the Stanford investors reading this, I urge you to write or email the Stanford Investors Committee members to withdraw this suit against St Jude’s. In the eyes of the world we are all as equally guilty as those undeserving members of the committee who are behind it. Please let us do one good thing and make this right.

Thank you

Richard

Financier Stanford's lawsuit seeks $7.2 billion

Source: Juan A. Lozano (Washingtonexaminer)
Jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford has filed a lawsuit accusing prosecutors and federal agents of depriving him of his constitutional rights by using abusive law-enforcement tactics.

He is asking for $7.2 billion in damages.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday comes after Stanford was declared incompetent to stand trial on charges he bilked investors out of $7 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme.

Stanford is accusing U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors as well as two FBI agents, five U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission agents, and 15 other unnamed agents and law enforcement officials. He says they used illegal tactics to prosecute him, seize all his personal and business properties, and prevent him from defending himself in both the criminal and civil cases he is facing.

The jailed financier is accusing federal agents of using more than $51 million of his own seized money to pay for their investigation.

Stanford and three former executives of his now-defunct Houston-based Stanford Financial Group are accused of orchestrating a colossal pyramid scheme. They allegedly advised clients from 113 countries to invest more than $7 billion in certificates of deposit at the Stanford International Bank on the Caribbean island of Antigua, promising huge returns.

Stanford is also fighting an SEC lawsuit filed in Dallas that makes similar allegations. A receiver appointed in the SEC suit seized most of Stanford's assets.

"By subjecting Mr. Stanford to multiple prosecutions for the same offense, defendants have deprived him of his liberty and property," Wednesday's lawsuit says.

Kevin Callahan, a spokesman for the SEC, declined to comment on the lawsuit. A spokesman for the Justice Department did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. A gag order in the criminal prosecution has barred most individuals connected with the case from discussing it.

Stanford, who has been jailed in Houston since his June 2009 indictment, is being transferred to a prison medical facility for treatment of an addiction he developed while incarcerated to an anti-anxiety drug.

A federal judge last month declared that Stanford was not competent to stand trial. The judge ruled that Stanford's addiction, as well as a brain injury he suffered in a September 2009 jail fight and a major depressive order he is suffering, have left him unable to think clearly or help his attorneys prepare a legal defense.

The judge's order recommended Stanford be taken to a medical facility at the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, where jailed financier Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence.

The Bureau of Prisons website on Thursday listed Stanford as being at a federal transfer center in Oklahoma City. Stanford's trial, which had been set to begin last month, is on hold pending his treatment.

Once considered one of the wealthiest men in the U.S. with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion, Stanford was declared indigent and given a court-appointed attorney after he lost a separate lawsuit in which he had tried to get an insurance policy to pay for his legal fees.

Stephen Cochell, Stanford's attorney in Wednesday's civil suit, said he is not being paid. But he declined to comment further about the lawsuit, including how much help he received from the financier in preparing it.

Stanford and the executives have pleaded not guilty to various charges, including money laundering and wire and mail fraud.

Stanford's attorneys say he ran a legitimate business and didn't misuse bank funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle, as prosecutors allege.

Allen Stanford — Incompetent to Stand Trial, Competent to Sue US Government

Source: Walter Pavlo (forbes)

Allen Stanford was recently transferred (en route) to Butner federal prison after a judge ruled that he was not competent to stand trail. This ruling was made after evidence was put forward that Stanford was deeply depressed, was addicted to anti-depressants and had suffered trauma from a beating by another inmate in prison. Clearly, life is not good for Allen Stanford these days.

Now comes news that Stanford is suing the U.S. government for $7.2 billion accusing federal prosecutors and regulators of depriving him of his constitutional rights. That’s an aggressive action for a guy who was ruled not competent to stand trial. The earlier ruling by the judge indicated that Stanford was not able to help in mounting a defense since but it seems that he is able to mount an OFFENSE. Stanford’s defense is being paid for with taxpayer dollars since being declared indigent by the same judge that deemed him incompetent to stand trial. So Stanford is now suing the same entity (the U.S. government) that is footing the bill for his defense. Confused? I am.

I guess Stanford is not going anywhere quickly but while this delay goes on there are many victims, or investors if Stanford is found innocent, waiting. All of Stanford’s assets have been frozen but the trial would provide a way to distribute those funds. With Madoff’s scheme, an early guilty verdict provided a way for the government to move in, recover and begin distributing stolen assets. With Stanford, we’re still awaiting a plea or a trial to figure out what went on.

There is no clear time frame for when Stanford will be competent to stand trial….but my guess is that this is going to take a while.

Stanford case has no end in sight

Source: Loren Steffy (chron)

Two years later, Cassie Wilkinson and thousands like her are still waiting.

Thursday was the second anniversary of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit against Stanford Financial Group. The SEC accused the company and its founder, R. Allen Stanford, of bilking more than $7 billion from investors with phony certificates of deposit issued by his Caribbean bank.

Since then, the court-appointed receiver, Ralph Janvey, has recovered almost nothing — less than $200 million so far, which, after attorneys' fees and other expenses, is about half that. If the almost 3,000 investors who lost money in Stanford ever see their money, it's likely to be only a penny or two for every dollar they invested.

"To the Stanford investors, it seems kind of like a hopeless thing," said Wilkinson, a retired Houston commercial office designer who now lives in Austin. "We're kind of hand-tied and blindfolded."

Wilkinson and her husband invested in Stanford's CDs in 2007 on the advice of their longtime broker, who had recently joined the company and told them the CDs would protect them from market volatility.

Even in a state where the crass excess of wheeler-dealers is legendary, Allen Stanford's extravagance stands out. Of the money he collected from investors, he helped himself to about $2 billion for planes, cars, girlfriends, lavish cricket matches and other trappings of a jet-setting lifestyle, said Janvey's attorney, Kevin Sadler. Another chunk of the money was spent on the 140 opulent offices that Stanford maintained around the world.

What money was left went, ironically, to bad investments: $80 million for an unfinished time share golf course in Florida that's now belly-up, for example, or $180 million for a company developing wireless phone service in Latin America that today might be worth about $7 million if the receiver could find a buyer, Sadler said.

"Over the 15 years that Stanford was allowed to run amok, he spread his money everywhere," he said. "It was just throwing money in all sorts of different places. They all turned out to be essentially junk. It's just gone."

The receiver is suing to recover some $600 million, mostly from former employees and investors who cashed out before the collapse.

"Everybody who got any money out of Stanford before it collapsed is fighting to keep every penny of it," Sadler said. That includes elected officials from both parties and the Republican and Democratic National Committees, who received donations from Stanford that they refuse to return.

Blame the Janitor
This week, a group of former brokers who were sued in 2009 by Janvey filed a countersuit, accusing him of mismanaging the company after he stepped in to clean up the mess. It's a blame-the-janitor legal strategy. If the brokers had applied similar scrutiny to the bogus CDs they peddled, investors might still have their life savings.

Meanwhile, justice in the case seems a long way off. Allen Stanford's trial was delayed last month after a judge ruled he's not competent to mount a defense because he's addicted to painkillers for injuries from a prison beating.

He isn't, however, too far gone to launch a legal counterattack. This week his attorneys sued U.S. prosecutors and agents for the FBI and SEC, accusing them of "abuse of law enforcement," and seeking $7.2 billion in damages. Stanford contends the government's "illegal tactics" began with the SEC's lawsuit, which including the seizure of his assets. The lawsuit says Stanford's constitutional rights were violated, the government used his own money to build a case against him, and used the civil case to build criminal charges against him, violating his Fifth Amendment protections.

SEC ignored warnings
In his disdain for the feds, Stanford has something in common with his alleged victims. Investors like Wilkinson question the amount of money Janvey is spending to recover the pittance that's left. They also are outraged at the SEC, which, an inspector general's report has found, ignored at least four earlier warnings about Stanford going back a decade.

Then there's the sting of Bernie Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme erupted in the headlines just a few months before Stanford's case. Madoff's investors were wealthy and well-connected. Stanford's tended to be more middle class - many of them veterans of the Oil Patch.

The receiver in the Madoff case has been able to recover billions, and the Securities Investor Protection Corp., an insurance fund for brokerages, has covered some of the investors' losses. SIPC doesn't apply to Stanford because of the nature of the investments and because it doesn't insure against a loss of value. Stanford investors are trying to get SIPC to cover their losses, but that's unlikely.

It's just one more insult to a group that has endured a two-year sojourn of betrayal - by their brokers, by Stanford himself and by the SEC.

"It's like our trials don't matter," Wilkinson said. "I would think that we should mean more than that."

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Stanford International Victims group are today receiving notification that their claims against the SEC have been registered.

Victims of the alleged Allen Stanford Ponzi Scheme have today started to receive notifications from Kachroo Legal Services (KLS) confirming that their Administration claims have been filed with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.


Kachroo Legal services say that it may take a few days to notify all the victims that signed up with them but the claims have already been presented to the SEC.


Victims now have to wait for a response from the SEC – which could take up to 6 months – after such time KLS will (dependant on the response they receive) then set the wheels in motion for a class action lawsuit to make the SEC accountable and liable for the losses suffered by the victims who have filed claims.


The SEC knew as far back as 1997 that Stanford was “In all probability running a Ponzi scheme” but chose to sit back and do nothing while thousands of innocent victims paid their money into SIB. If the SEC had done their job and acted on the information they had, thousands of victims would have been spared the devastation their incompetence and lack of action caused.


The deadline for submitting a claim ran out on February 16th 2011 and it is too late for those that chose not to join with Stanford International Victims in registering a claim.


Kachroo Legal Services, P.C.


Dear Claimant:


This notice confirms that your administrative claim under the FTCA has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Sincerely,

The KLS Team


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Estimado Reclamante:


Esta notificación confirma que su reclamo administrativo bajo la FTCA ha sido radicado con la Comisión de Mercado de Valores (SEC por sus siglas en Ingles).


Atentamente,


El Equipo KLS

Two Year Anniversary Brings Flood of Stanford Lawsuits

Source: Scott Cohn (CNBC)

Two years to the day after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused billionaire banker R. Allen Stanford of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, investors and a court-appointed receiver have unleashed a flood of lawsuits — including one targeting a top government official in Antigua where the alleged scam was based.

The following statement is condemned by Stanford International Victims Group
Another suit seeks the return of more than $7 million in Stanford contributions to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its charitable arms.

Stanford International Victims are Demanding the Committee Retract the Law Suit and issue a public apology

A spokeswoman said St. Jude had accepted the contributions "in good faith."

Other claims target Stanford board members, organizers of major sporting events funded by Stanford, and The Golf Channel, which is owned by NBCUniversal parent Comcast [CMCSA 25.13 0.97 (+4.01%) ]. A spokesman for the Golf Channel declined to comment since officials had not yet seen the complaint.

The suits come as investors scramble to meet a two-year statutory deadline for claims, in a process that has yielded little for Stanford's 28,000 investors. Stanford himself has denied wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, 36 former Stanford employees, sued by the receiver in 2009 seeking the return of their bonuses and other compensation, today countersued the receiver, Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey. The suit accuses Janvey of so badly mismanaging the receivership that it has cost investors and the employees hundreds of millions of dollars, and destroyed the employees' careers.

"This damage is massive and will continue for years into the future," the countersuit says.

The countersuit says the employees plan to contribute any proceeds from the claim to a fund for victims—including themselves. It says the employees understood Stanford's business to be legitimate, and had invested millions themselves. The suit also repeats an earlier claim by Stanford that a prominent brokerage firm had offered $500 million to purchase the company's operations following the SEC suit, though the suit cites no specific evidence of the offer. It claims Janvey ignored the advice of an industry consultant to accept the alleged offer, denying hundreds of millions of dollars in proceeds to the victims.

An attorney for Janvey, Kevin Sadler of the law firm Baker Botts, denied there was any opportunity to sell the Stanford operations.

"The suggestion that a brokerage firm which operated at the heart of a Ponzi scheme could be sold to anyone in the weeks or months after the SEC filed its securities fraud lawsuit, defies logic, common sense, and the facts," Sadler said in a statement e-mailed to CNBC.

"The defensive claims by the former Stanford financial advisors, all or whom received substantial payments from Stanford, are baseless," the statement says.

Janvey this week reported he has recovered just $188 million in cash for investors out of more than $7 billion that is missing. But in a court filing on his behalf, Janvey's attorneys blamed the small recovery on a "difficult, protracted and expensive" process, as well as the complexity of the alleged Stanford fraud. Janvey has filed some $600 million more in claims including those filed today. Another $300 million or so is believed to be in foreign accounts, according to the filing.

Among the lawsuits filed Wednesday is a $1 million claim by the Official Stanford Investors Committee against Antiguan Minister of National Security Errol Cort, who until 2009 was the Caribbean nation's Finance Minister and oversaw Stanford's offshore bank at the heart of the alleged fraud.

"Antigua's 'regulation' of the Stanford entities was a sham," the lawsuit says.

As Finance Minister, Cort was responsible for Antigua's Financial Services Regulatory Commission. The former head of that agency, Leroy King, was indicted in 2009 for allegedly accepting bribes from Stanford. King is fighting extradition to the U.S.

A spokesperson for Cort told CNBC the Minister had not yet seen the investors' lawsuit and would have no immediate comment.

Other suits name tennis' ATP Tour and the International Players Championship, neither of which could be reached for comment. Previous suits have targeted golf's PGA Tour and the NBA's Miami heat, neither of which has responded in court.

Another case filed today seeks $2 million from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank that has previously issued reports on Stanford. The center had no immediate comment.

Meanwhile, some investors are directing their ire at the Securities and Exchange Commission, following an internal report last year that found the agency was aware of issues at Stanford as early as 1997. Many investors have begun the process of suing the agency for negligence by filing notices with the SEC's General Counsel. An SEC spokesman would not say how many notices the agency has received, and declined to comment on the allegations.

Secrets of the Knight

Stanford moved from Houston prison

Accused fraud mastermind R. Allen Stanford, ruled incompetent to stand trial because of addiction to drugs he’s received while in federal custody, is being moved from Houston to a different detention facility.

Traci Billingsley, spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, confirmed that Stanford has left the federal detention center in downtown Houston. She said the bureau does not disclose where inmates are going, and would not say whether Stanford is going to a drug treatment facility.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner ruled after a hearing in January that Stanford is incompetent to stand trial and must undergo detoxification from addictions to medications prescribed for anxiety and depression. A brain injury Stanford suffered in a 2009 altercation with another inmate also may have diminished his capacity to assist in his defense, the judge wrote, citing expert testimony in the hearing.

Stanford and other officers of his Houston-based Stanford Financial Group are accused of defrauding investors of $7 billion in a scheme based largely on certificates of deposit issued by a Stanford-owned bank on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Stanford has been in federal custody as a potential flight risk since his arrest in June 2009. The other defendants are free on bail.

From Prison, Madoff Says Banks ‘Had to Know’ of Fraud

Bernard L. Madoff said he never thought the collapse of his Ponzi scheme would cause the sort of destruction that has befallen his family.

In his first interview for publication since his arrest in December 2008, Mr. Madoff — looking noticeably thinner and rumpled in khaki prison garb — maintained that family members knew nothing about his crimes.

But during a private two-hour interview in a visitor room here on Tuesday, and in earlier e-mail exchanges, he asserted that unidentified banks and hedge funds were somehow “complicit” in his elaborate fraud, an about-face from earlier claims that he was the only person involved.

Mr. Madoff, who is serving a 150-year sentence, seemed frail and a bit agitated compared with the stoic calm he maintained before his incarceration in 2009, perhaps burdened by sadness over the suicide of his son Mark in December.

Besides that loss, his family also has faced stacks of lawsuits, the potential forfeiture of most of their assets, and relentless public suspicion and enmity that cut Mr. Madoff and his wife Ruth off from their children.

In many ways, however, Mr. Madoff seemed unchanged. He spoke with great intensity and fluency about his dealings with various banks and hedge funds, pointing to their “willful blindness” and their failure to examine discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information available to them.

“They had to know,” Mr. Madoff said. “But the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.’ ”

While he acknowledged his guilt in the interview and said nothing could excuse his crimes, he focused his comments laserlike on the big investors and giant institutions he dealt with, not on the financial pain he caused thousands of his more modest investors. In an e-mail written on Jan. 13, he observed that many long-term clients made more in legitimate profits from him in the years before the fraud than they could have elsewhere. “I would have loved for them to not lose anything, but that was a risk they were well aware of by investing in the market,” he wrote.

Mr. Madoff said he was startled to learn about some of the e-mails and messages raising doubts about his results — now emerging in lawsuits — that bankers were passing around before his scheme collapsed.

“I’m reading more now about how suspicious they were than I ever realized at the time,” he said with a faint smile.

He did not assert that any specific bank or fund knew about or was an accomplice in his Ponzi scheme, which lasted at least 16 years and consumed about $20 billion in lost cash and almost $65 billion in paper wealth. Rather, he cited a failure to conduct normal scrutiny.

Both the interview and the e-mail correspondence were conducted as part of this reporter’s research for a coming book on the Madoff scandal, “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust,” for publication this spring by Times Books, a division of Henry Holt & Company.

In the interview and e-mails, he also claimed he had been helping the court-appointed trustee who is seeking to recover lost billions on behalf of his swindled clients. In e-mails, Mr. Madoff said repeatedly that he provided useful information to Irving H. Picard, the trustee trying to recover assets for the fraud victims. He met with Mr. Picard’s team over four days last summer, he said. The e-mails were written in December and January, but he only recently agreed that they could be made public.

In prison, Mr. Madoff’s access to the outside world is both limited and monitored. All visitors must be approved by prison authorities, who also screen his limited collect calls and his incoming and outgoing e-mails and letters, though interviews with lawyers like Mr. Picard and his colleagues are less restricted and can be conducted in private.

Asked about his cell, he described a room about 12 feet square with a big window looking out on the grounds; he said he had a roommate, the second since he arrived at the prison.

It was clear from the e-mails and interview here that Mr. Madoff closely followed news related to his case in December, the second anniversary of his arrest. He lashed out at what he called some of the “disgraceful” coverage of the suicide of his son Mark on Dec. 11.

Disputing reports that he refused to attend any funeral services for Mark, he said the prison informed him it would not approve a request for him to attend a service because of “the public safety issue” and the limited time available to make arrangements. He concluded any funeral he attended “would be a media circus” and that it “would be cruel to my family” to put them through that, he wrote on Dec. 29.

Regarding his meetings with Mr. Picard’s legal team, Mr. Madoff asserted in an e-mail written on Dec. 19 that he had given Mr. Picard’s legal team “information I knew would be instrumental in recovering assets from those people complicit in the mess I put myself into.”

In a message 10 days later, he was even more explicit about what he told the trustee: “I am saying that the banks and funds were complicit in one form or another and my information to Picard when he was here established this.”

Mr. Madoff’s claims must be weighed against his tenuous credibility. After deceiving federal regulators and supposedly sophisticated investors for at least 16 years, he would certainly be branded as a liar by defense lawyers if he appeared as a witness against any defendant in a courtroom — a fact he acknowledged somewhat ruefully during the interview on Tuesday.

Despite his many references to the complicity of others, he acknowledged in the Dec. 19 e-mail that he had not shared his information with the federal prosecutors working on criminal cases related to his fraud — although the trustee most likely would have done so, if Mr. Madoff’s information was relevant to the investigation.

Mr. Madoff wrote in an e-mail that while he was willing “from the beginning” to give prosecutors information “to help recover assets only, I refused to help provide them with criminal evidence.” In the interview he declined to discuss any of the criminal cases under investigation.

In the months after the Picard team’s prison interviews, the trustee’s law firm, Baker & Hostetler, filed hundreds of civil lawsuits seeking approximately $90 billion in damages and fictional profits withdrawn from Mr. Madoff’s scheme over the years. The defendants in those cases included the Wilpon family, the owners of the New York Mets; JPMorgan Chase, which served for decades as Mr. Madoff’s primary banker; and Sonja Kohn, the Viennese financier at the hub of a network of hedge funds that invested heavily with Mr. Madoff.

Mr. Madoff said about Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, Mr. Wilpon’s brother-in-law and business partner: “They knew nothing. They knew nothing.”

There was no obvious sign that any of those lawsuits were based on evidence or guidance from Mr. Madoff. All the defendants have said they had no knowledge of the fraud and have denied the trustee’s claims that, as financially sophisticated investors, they should have been suspicious from the beginning.

Mr. Picard declined to comment on whether his team had interviewed Mr. Madoff and would not say whether information from him had contributed to the vast body of litigation filed since last summer.

In some e-mails, Mr. Madoff conceded that Mr. Picard’s team conducted its own investigation into the withdrawals made by some big clients, in the years before the Ponzi scheme collapsed, to determine who might have known what and when. Such withdrawals could indicate that investors could have been aware of the fraud, which could increase their liability.

However, Mr. Madoff added, “the facts are that I alone was present at certain meetings with these clients.”

To date, none of the major banks or hedge funds that did business with Mr. Madoff have been accused by federal prosecutors of knowingly investing in his Ponzi scheme. However, Mr. Picard in civil lawsuits has asserted that executives at some banks expressed suspicions for years, yet continued to do business with Mr. Madoff and steer their clients’ money into his hands.

All the financial entities facing civil lawsuits by Madoff victims and Mr. Picard have denied they had any knowledge of the fraud.

In a related e-mail on Jan. 12, Mr. Madoff cited out-of-court settlements that some banks and funds had negotiated with private Madoff investors over the last two years and claimed some settlements were made “to keep me quiet” about the role the institutions played in “creating my situation” and about the identity of the beneficial owners of some of their private accounts.

Mr. Picard has already recovered roughly $10 billion through asset sales and settlements with several foreign banks and a few significant Madoff clients, including the estate of a private investor, Jeffry Picower, and the family of Carl Shapiro, a philanthropist in Palm Beach, Fla.

While the Picower settlement had been under negotiation since at least the fall of 2009, the settlements with the Shapiro family and a Swiss bank, Union Bancaire Privée, both came after Mr. Picard’s trip to the prison here in Butner. But because both settlements came before Mr. Picard had filed any public claims in court, it is unclear whether information from Mr. Madoff was a factor in those settlement talks.

Neither Mr. Shapiro nor the Swiss bank has been accused of any complicity in Mr. Madoff’s crimes, and Mr. Picard has publicly acknowledged their good-faith cooperation with his inquiries when he announced the settlement agreements, which totaled more than $1 billion.

The only people formally charged with complicity in Mr. Madoff’s crime are his former auditor and members of his own staff.

Although Mr. Madoff swore in court that he had carried out his elaborate fraud on his own, his accountant, David H. Friehling, and Mr. Madoff’s senior lieutenant, Frank DiPascali, have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors. Five other former Madoff employees have been indicted; they have asserted their innocence and are awaiting trial.

While Mr. Madoff said he was determined to aid the trustee’s efforts to recover assets, he was also critical of the trustee’s reach, claiming that Mr. Picard was seeking far more money than was needed to resolve valid investor claims.

In addition to the customer claims for the cash losses and the paper wealth that vanished, the Madoff estate also faces claims by general creditors, like unpaid vendors and landlords, who cannot recover until all the valid customer claims are paid.

Mr. Madoff argued in several e-mails that Mr. Picard’s responsibility was to return only the $20 billion in out-of-pocket cash that investors lost in his scheme.

Given that Mr. Picard has already recovered roughly $10 billion, Mr. Madoff calculated that the lawsuits against major banks and hedge funds would produce more than enough to cover the rest of the cash losses without Mr. Picard having to pursue “clawback” litigation against some longtime investors who withdrew more from their accounts than they put.

Monday, 14 February 2011

RECEIVER’S SECOND INTERIM REPORT REGARDING STATUS OF RECEIVERSHIP

Receivers Second Interim Report Regading Status of Receivership

Stanford Ponzi Scheme Investors Fight for Assets


Two years after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused the Stanford Financial Group of running a $7 billion global Ponzi scheme, only about $188 million has been recovered for investors—or about two-and-a-half cents on the dollar—according to a new report by the attorneys who are rounding up the assets.

The report, filed in federal court on behalf of court-appointed receiver Ralph Janvey, identifies hundreds of millions of dollars more in pending claims, but still not nearly enough to make Stanford's 28,000 investors whole.

What's more, the report notes, "the amount that the Receiver is ultimately able to collect from the defendants is uncertain and in all probability will be less than the amount claimed."

The SEC sued Stanford and its multi-billionaire founder R. Allen Stanford on February 16, 2009, alleging a massive fraud involving bogus certificates of deposit sold by Stanford's offshore bank in Antigua. A federal judge in Dallas froze all Stanford's assets, as well as the savings of thousands of Stanford investors, and appointed Janvey of the Dallas law firm Krage & Janvey as receiver.


The Justice Department followed in June of that year with criminal charges against Stanford, several former executives and an Antiguan regulator. The criminal cases are effectively on hold after a judge in Houston ruled Stanford is currently not competent to stand trial.

In the meantime, the asset recovery process continues, and Janvey's report suggests it is going slowly. The largest source of cash, more than $30 million, has come from the liquidation of Stanford's private equity investments. Another $6 million has come from the sale of real estate, and $5 million has come from the sale of Stanford's yachts and airplanes.

The report notes that Janvey has filed another $595 million in claims against various defendants, but does not express much optimism that that amount of money will be recovered.

"Asset recovery litigation is difficult, protracted and expensive," the report says. Besides, some of those claims are against Stanford investors themselves.

Janvey is pursuing some $211 million in "clawback" claims from investors who withdrew more from their Stanford accounts than they invested. In addition, he has sued more than 300 former employees seeking the return of their bonuses and CD proceeds.

Other claims highlight Stanford's major presence in the worlds of politics and sports.

Janvey is demanding the return of $1.6 million in political contributions that Stanford made to the Democratic and Republican Senate and Congressional campaign committees. The committees have moved to dismiss the case on procedural grounds, and the report notes that thus far, only $111,700 in political contributions have been returned.

Janvey is also demanding the return of $5 million in fees paid to prominent Texas lobbyist Ben Barnes. Barnes and his firm have moved to dismiss the case, arguing that Stanford appeared to be legitimate at the time Barnes did business with him.

IMG has not yet responded to the suit. Janvey is seeking another $12.9 million in a separate suit filed last week against the PGA Tour, which, so far, has not responded. Yet another suit, filed last month, seeks $1.3 million from the NBA's Miami Heat, which has yet to file a response.

Wednesday's two-year anniversary is the deadline for civil claims in the case under the statute of limitations, and sources expect a flurry of claims and counterclaims in the coming days.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

COVISAL and SVC Amend Specimen Registration Forms

This is an URGENT message for any victims who followed the advice given by COVISAL and SVC to file their own SF-95 claims using the specimen registration forms they provided.

It has come to our attention that COVISAL and SVC have just released amended specimen claim forms correcting errors in their previous release.
This raises serious concerns regarding the wisdom of taking legal advice from people who have no legal background.

Please be aware that if you have tried to complete your own registration and following the guidance provided by COVISAL & SVC, You need to look closely at the amended versions to check for more mistakes.

After waiting for months for these documents (which you were all assured by Covisal and SVC were easy to complete) and now finding out that both originals require amendments - you have to ask yourself if you are willing to take the risk that the amended versions are correct.

For those that are questioning the advice you were originally given and the fact the (long awaited) specimen registration forms are your last chance of registering your interest, perhaps now is the time to ask yourself if it is worth taking the chance of having your form rejected by the SEC?

Remember this is your one and only chance to register your claim against the SEC and you only have 7 days left, for some it is already to late! We would once again advise all victims to make contact with Gaytri Kachroo and make sure the job is done correctly by downloading the contract of engagement and sending it to info@kachroolegal.com.

These mistakes made by people who are not lawyers could cost you all dearly and leave both people who supplied you with incorrect information open to being sued. You need to think carefully about the advice you have received, but more importantly you have to question if the revised information is correct.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Este es un mensaje urgente para que ninguna de las víctimas que siguieron el consejo dado por Covisal y SVC para presentar su propia SF-95 reclamaciones en los formularios de registro que muestra siempre.

Ha llegado a nuestra atención que Covisal y SVC acaban de publicar modificado los formularios de reclamación muestra la corrección de errores en su versión anterior.
Esto plantea serias preocupaciones acerca de la conveniencia de pedir la opinión jurídica de las personas que no tienen formación jurídica.

Tenga en cuenta que si usted ha tratado de completar su propio registro y siguiendo las orientaciones dadas por Covisal y SVC, Usted tiene que mirar de cerca las versiones modificadas para comprobar si hay más errores.

Después de esperar durante meses para estos documentos (que se asegura a todos por Covisal y SVC fueron fáciles para completar) y ahora saber que tanto los originales supone la modificación - que tiene que preguntarse si están dispuestos a asumir el riesgo de que las versiones modificadas son correcta.

Para aquellos que están cuestionando el consejo que le dieron origen y el hecho de las formas (esperado) muestra el registro son su última oportunidad de registrar su interés, tal vez ahora es el momento de preguntarse si vale la pena tomar el riesgo de que su forma rechazada por la SEC?

Recuerde que esta es su primera y única oportunidad de registrar su reclamo en contra de la SEC y que sólo han 7 días a la izquierda , para algunos ya es tarde! Queremos una vez más asesorar a todas las víctimas para hacer contacto con Gaytri Kachroo y asegúrese de que el trabajo se hace correctamente, descargue el contrato de compromiso y de enviarlo a info@kachroolegal.com.

Estos errores cometidos por personas que no son abogados podría costar muy caro a todos y dejar las dos personas que le suministró la información incorrecta abierto a ser demandado. Usted necesita pensar cuidadosamente acerca de los consejos que hemos recibido, pero lo más importante que tenemos que preguntarnos si la información revisada es correcta.

Author: Stanford's Nemesis

Friday, 4 February 2011

ECB face legal action as Allen Stanford's creditors seek redress

The England and Wales Cricket board face the threat of legal action to return $3.5 million (£2.2 million) it received from the ill-fated deal with the disgraced financier Sir Allen Stanford.

Receivers acting for creditors of Stanford's collapsed $7 billion financial empire have begun legal action against a number of sports bodies and figures, including IMG Worldwide, who represent golfer Vijay Singh, and the Miami Heat basketball team, to recoup sponsorship fees. They have indicated that they will be looking into the ECB's relationship with the Texan and it could face action to repay "ill-gotten gains" received from its deal.

Stanford is currently in custody awaiting trial in the United States charged with running an alleged $7 billion "Ponzi" scheme based on the sale of certificates of deposit in his Antiguan-based Stanford International Bank. He denies the charges

The ECB's ill-fated decision to strike a $100 million deal for a series of Twenty20 matches against a Stanford Superstars XI is one of the most embarrassing and controversial episodes in its history, and the prospect of legal action will confirm the worst fears of its critics.

"There has been a running fear in the ECB that the receiver could come after them, and this could be the knock on the door they have been dreading for two years," said a source familiar with the Stanford deal.

The threat of legal action comes with the Stanford receiver, Ralph Janvey, pursuing sporting bodies sponsored by Stanford. Last month Janvey commenced legal action against sports and media company IMG Worldwide to recover $10.5 million paid by Stanford in sponsorship and promotion fees to golfer Singh.

They have also launched a $1.3 million suit against the Miami Heat basketball franchise, and are pursuing another golfer, David Toms, for $905,087.

Janvey is claiming that the money was "fraudulently transferred" from the proceeds of an illegal investment scheme, and the sports companies did not provide "good value" for the payments, and cannot demonstrate they had received the money "in good faith".

Kevin Sadler, a lawyer working for Janvey, said via email: "The Receiver and his professionals are engaged in a process of uncovering and then investigating all significant payments made by any of the Stanford entities, and that would include payments made to professional sports figures or organisations.

"Any entity (or person) which received payments from the Stanford Ponzi scheme is subject to a claim for fraudulent transfer, unless the recipient can prove that the payment was received in good faith AND that reasonably equivalent value was given in exchange for the payments.

"Payments made for the purpose of promoting the Stanford business image to the public would not pass the legal test of reasonably equivalent value."

Michael Owen and Kevin Pietersen could also face action to recoup personal deals with Stanford.

Owen was recruited as an ambassador for the Stanford Financial Group in April 2008, and is reported to have been paid £500,000 for his services, some of which is understood to have been reinvested in the Stanford International Bank.

Kevin Pietersen, the England captain at the time of the first and only Stanford Super Series in Antigua, was recruited as an ambassador and is thought to have received around £50,000.

Eight former West Indian players, including Sir Vivian Richards, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Richie Richardson, were also retained as ambassadors being paid a reported $10,000-per-month.

The ECB declined to comment on the issue last night but did take legal advice when charges were levelled against Stanford in February 2009. Their lawyers are understood to have advised that it was unlikely that they would have to repay the money, but a claim could not be ruled out.

The ECB's deal was for five Stanford Super Series, featuring England and a Stanford Superstars XI, culminating in a $20 million winner-takes-all final. The ECB also agreed to host an annual quadrangular Twenty20 tournament at Lord's featuring England, a Stanford XI and two international sides, with Sri Lanka and New Zealand approached to play in the first event.

Stanford's arrest meant that only the first Super Series was played, in which England were humiliated by 10 wickets and the Stanford Superstars shared $13 million of the $20 million prize fund. They, too, could find themselves pursued by the receivers.

The remaining $7 million was split between the ECB and the West Indies Cricket Board. In December 2008 the ECB agreed to distribute £1.4 million of the income, with £50,000 going to each of the 18 first-class counties and another £500,000 going to the minor county board to be spent on coaching.

Speaking after Stanford's arrest in February 2009, ECB chairman Giles Clarke ruled out repaying the money and said that the ECB had acted in good faith. "We entered into the Stanford transaction in good faith," Clarke told The Telegraph. "Like many sporting bodies we carried out our side of the contract and he carried out his and we were paid. We then passed those funds on, to the benefit of the game."

Speaking at the time of Stanford's arrest, Rose Romero of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said: "We are alleging a fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its tentacles throughout the world."

Stanford was due to stand trial this month but was ruled unfit because of a dependence on prescription medication developed in jail. Doctors ruled that a head injury incurred during a jailhouse beating could also have impaired his ability to assist his defence. A judge ordered that he be weaned from the drugs before the trial can commence.

Feeling the heat
Ralph Janvey, the receiver acting for creditors of Sir Allan Stanford’s collapsed financial empire, is pursuing legal action to recoup sponsorship fees from a number of sports organisations.

Miami Heat
The NBA franchise is being sued for $1.3m relating to “Stanford’s sponsorship, advertising and promotional activities” according to the receiver. The Heat will have to repay the money and costs if the receiver is successful.

IMG Worldwide
The receiver is seeking $10.5m in “golf endorsement fees” paid to IMG’s former client Vijay Singh (right) from 2006-2009, claiming that the money came from “unwitting investors” in the alleged Stanford Ponzi scheme. Singh offered to pay half of the financier’s $100,000 bail. According to the receiver IMG received $7.3m in 2008, and $114,000 in the six weeks before Stanford’s companies were seized. IMG declined to comment last night.

David Toms
Toms was sponsored by Stanford companies and is being sued for $905,000. He was paid through a brokerage account opened on his behalf by the Stanford Financial Group. The receiver alleges that Toms earned money from contested certificates of deposit issued by the Stanford International Bank, but his spokesman has denied he made any profit.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

English Cricket and the comments made by players

Sir Allen Stanford scandal: what the key players said

Some of cricket's most illustrious names, both past and present, were implicated in the Sir Aleln Stanford scandal. Telegraph Sport recalls who said what about one of cricket's darkest episodes.

03 Feb 2011

Comments:
"In three years West Indies are going to be the best in the world, mark my words."
Sir Allen Stanford, outlining his vision for Caribbean Twenty20 cricket (Sep 2007)

"Sir Allen is doing a huge amount for cricket in the West Indies and we are keen to help things develop. We are extremely interested in his ideas." Giles Clarke, ECB chairman, on playing a $20million, winner-takes-all Twenty20, against West Indies (April 2008).

"Money like that has never been talked about in cricket. People can abuse us but they are not going to pay my child's school fees in 15 years. To be offered something like that, it's like winning the lottery."
Kevin Pietersen, the England batsman, on the financial implications of the proposed tie-in with Stanford (April 2008).

"I go back to Kerry Packer when I first started, he shook the whole place up. I think what Stanford is doing is shaking it up again."
Sir Ian Botham (June 2008)

"I do not think Mr Stanford is telling the people what he's really about. He is telling people that he wants to revive West Indian cricket but how is a week of Twenty20 cricket going to do that? I am not going to be involved in a farce."
Michael Holding, previously a Stanford supporter (Aug 2008)

"When the pictures came up on the big screen there were a lot of gobsmacked people in our side. Matt Prior was in a state of shock, especially as his wife is pregnant."
Stuart Broad, on seeing pictures of Stanford flirting with several of the England players' partners during a game with Middlesex (Oct 2008)

"He understood that the players were not particularly pleased with the incident. He called both Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior personally and they have accepted his apology."
A Stanford spokesman, on the flirting incident

"I asked the ECB to do a lot more checking on Stanford. We made it very clear we that we should not enter into this agreement without proper checks but he [Clarke] had already done the deal. The board should resign collectively"
Rod Bransgrove, Hampshire chairman when doubts over the ECB's five-year deal with Stanford began to surface (Oct 2008)

"This is a rehash of old gossip and unsubstantiated allegations."
A Stanford spokesman after confirmation that the businessman's empire was being investigated by US authorities in Feb 2009.

"Stanford and [his] close circle perpetrated a massive fraud based on false promises and fabricated data to prey on investors."
Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announcing Stanford had been charged with fraud (Feb 2009).

"I don't know what people would have said at the time had we not done the deal and had we not allowed our players the chance to play for US$20 million. There has been a lot of sagacious hindsight."
Giles Clarke, reacting to calls for him to quit in the wake of Stanford's arrest (Feb 2009).

"I was an ambassador for Stanford - a player face - but that contract has gone. I was very uncomfortable with the whole Stanford thing."
Kevin Pietersen, after Stanford's charge (Feb 2009).

“I know that some are pretending they never trusted him, but I couldn’t do that. I did and I still do. I hope that he is cleared."
Sir Garfield Sobers, ex-West Indies captain and one of Stanford's 12 cricket 'ambassadors' (Dec 2009)

"Its a good thing I take that million US$ from u in the stanford so I can buy Nandos lol cappo!"
Chris Gayle, West Indies batsman, tweets to Kevin Pietersen, after the latter teases him over not being able to afford a slap-up dinner due to not being bought at the IPL auction (Jan 2011)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Affected investor - Stanford International Bank Case SEC v. Stanford International Bank, 09-00298, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

On the 17th of February, 2009 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Allen Stanford and his finance boss Jame M. Davis of having installed a Ponzi scheme in the enterprises controlled by them, including the bank of Antigua.

Many innocent people trusted the Government of United States and its regulatory institutions.

They invested with a brokerage that was regulated by the SEC, and whose brokers were members of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation). The SEC and FINRA allowed such a Brokerage Firm to operate in USA.

After almost two years there is no yet a solution but many news related with the negligence of SEC and FINRA, the internal corruption in the SEC and the “institutional influences” from US-government agency which allowed Allen Stanford to build his Ponzi scheme.

It is quite evident that the SEC and FINRA are responsible for prosecuting fraud and wrongdoing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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...



"John Cornyn: In November 2004, right after the election, Texas Sen. John Cornyn traveled to Antigua on Stanford's. The purpose of the trip, which cost over $7,000? To investigate the financial industry. Too bad he didn't seem to notice anything."


Senator Bill Nelson from Florida received $6,100 from Allen Stanford.
Stanford got approval to create the first company of its kind in Miami: a foreign trust office that could bypass regulators
Florida's top financial regulator and several lawmakers want an investigation of the state's agreement with banker Allen Stanford to operate a Miami office -- with no government scrutiny.

The ties between indicted banker Allen Stanford and members of Congress -- including millions in contributions and weekends in five-star Caribbean resorts -- are now the subject of a sweeping federal investigation.

One of Congress' most powerful members, Pete Sessions sent an Email to Allen Stanford on Feb. 17.
``I love you and believe in you,'' said the e-mail sent ``If you want my ear/voice -- e-mail,'' it said, signed ``Pete.''

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $950,000 from Allen Stanford and his affiliated companies.
The National Republican Congressional Committee follows with $238,500 from Allen Stanford and his affiliated companies.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received $202,000 from Allen Stanford and his affiliated companies.
The Republican National Committee got $128,500 from Allen Stanford and his affiliated companies.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee took $83,345 from Allen Stanford and his affiliated companies.

It is clear the Ponzi scheme was able to continue for so long due to “institutional influences”


Click here to read the complete list of US-politicians who received money from Allen Stanford.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter today reacted to the report released by the Inspector General of the Securities and Exchange Commission that revealed the agency was aware of fraud committed by Texas financier Allen Stanford and did not pursue an investigation.

"The depth of the failure at the SEC in the Stanford investigation is unbelievable,” said Vitter. “There were four examinations in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2004, and in each case examiners concluded that Stanford's CDs were likely a Ponzi scheme. Yet the SEC did absolutely nothing while Stanford fleeced investors for roughly $8 billion. What is clear from the report is that the debt the SEC owes the Stanford victims is enormous."

In August of 2009 Vitter hosted a U.S. Senate Banking Committee field hearing on the Stanford case in Baton Rouge. At that time, it was determined that the original IG report was insufficient, which led Vitter, along with Sen. Richard Shelby, to request a more complete report from the SEC on the investigation. Vitter will meet with David Kotz, inspector general of the SEC and author of the report, later this week.

Vitter serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and has been actively working on this issue to help bring relief to the victims of this scheme.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SEC's corruption allowed Stanford's fraud.


The Securities and Exchange Commission knew that Allen Stanford was involved in a Ponzi scheme as far back as 1997, according to a report released Friday by SEC Inspector General David Kotz.

The 159-page report said the scheme was able to continue for so long due to “institutional influences” within the SEC, and the agency’s desire to chase after slam-dunk cases.

"In the Madoff case, we saw the Commission's depth of incompetency, now, in the Stanford case, we see that not only is the SEC incompetent, it is also appears to be corrupt,"

Read more here...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


DOJ Halted SEC's Investigation Into Stanford Financial


“For over a decade, the US government, including the DOJ (Department of Justice), the Treasury and the SEC had solid evidence of Robert Allen Stanford’s alleged criminal activities and investors were never warned. Whether Robert Allen Stanford is guilty or not, the reality is that our entire life’s savings is lost and these victims relied on information from the US government agencies when making the decision to invest with Stanford Group.
These agencies did not disclose critical information that would have prevented us from losing our life’s savings.”

“The entire world is watching how the American judicial and financial regulatory system will handle the debilitating losses of victims of massive fraud like the Stanford case. These victims have been denied help by the US government and are now facing a long road to an extremely limited recovery.“

Read more here.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Memorable phrases to never forget


The 159-page of SEC Inspector General David Kotz's report said the scheme was able to continue for so long due to "institutional influences" within the SEC, and the agency's desire to chase after slam-dunk cases.


“The depth of the failure at the SEC in the Stanford investigation is unbelievable,” said U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La.


“The one thing that is clear from the inspector general David Kotz's report is that the debt the SEC owes the Stanford victims is enormous,” said U.S. Sen. David Vitter.


Rose Romero (director of the SEC's Fort Worth regional office): "we did not think there were any American investors so it really did not concern us".


“I urge the SEC to act swiftly in correcting these wrongs, so these families whose retirement and savings were stolen as a result of greed and government failure can begin rebuilding their lives,” U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon said.


“Keep an eye on these people [Stanford] because it looks like a Ponzi scheme to me, and some day it’s going to blow up,” said a retiring assistant district administrator for the Fort Worth examination program in 1997 to the branch chief.


Simon, the Florida banking director who approved the agreement, says he should have banned the office from handling money.
Art Simon, now admits he made a mistake.


Several lawyers said much of the responsibility rests with Simon. ”In this case, he was responsible for having an effective system of enforcement,” said Jeffrey Sonn, a Fort Lauderdale securities attorney. “The state didn’t do the kind of reviews it needed to do.”


“As God is my witness,” Stanford said, “there is no Ponzi scheme, there was no intentional fraud.”
The company "had far more assets, solid assets, cash and other assets that could cover all our liabilities worldwide."


``I love you and believe in you,'' said the e-mail sent ``If you want my ear/voice -- e-mail,'' it said, signed ``Pete Sessions.''