Mittwoch, 16. Februar 2011

Cricket mogul Stanford sent to US prison hospital

February 16, 2011
Financier and cricket mogul Allen Stanford was sent to a US prison hospital for drug addiction treatment so he can be fit to stand trial on charges of running a $7 billion fraud, officials said Tuesday.

A federal bureau of prisons website listed Stanford's status as "in transit."

The flamboyant Texan was declared incompetent to stand trial last month after government psychiatrists and Stanford's team testified that he was suffering from bouts of delirium linked to his dependency on powerful anti-anxiety medication.

They found the 60-year-old was also depressed due to a brain injury he sustained during a 2009 jailhouse brawl, and recommended he be weaned off the drug.

US District Judge David Hittner denied Stanford's request to be released and treated at a private medical facility because he is considered a flight risk.

The judge recommended that Stanford be sent to a medical center at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, where Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff is currently serving a 150-year term for defrauding investors of $20 billion.

Stanford has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of fraud, money laundering and obstruction. He faces up to 375 years in jail if convicted.

A self-described "maverick," Stanford hit international sports headlines by creating the eponymous Stanford Super Series Twenty20 cricket competition.

The $20-million winner-take-all match appalled many in the cricket world by challenging the sacrosanct traditional cricket establishment.

In Antigua, he was a larger-than-life figure, the island's largest employer and the recipient of a 2006 knighthood. But after the allegations against him surfaced, much of his support dwindled and the England and Wales Cricket Board cut ties with him.


Related article: Allen Stanford beaten up by jail inmates.

Visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum


February 16, 2011
Calling it the best chance for some investors to recover some of the money they lost in R. Allen Stanford's certificates of deposit, attorneys have sued a clearing broker-dealer for the disgraced financier.

The suit alleges that New Jersey-based brokerage firm Pershing LLC — a subsidiary of the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. — dealt in unregistered securities.

Pershing acted as a middleman between Stanford's Antiguan bank and investors who bought billions of dollars' worth of CDs that federal prosecutors say were bogus.

A similar suit was filed in Dallas federal court on December 08, 2009. Austin residents Susan Blount and Gary and Laurie Spellman are among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, for which class action status is being sought.

"I feel this is the very best claim that has a chance of recovery" for Stanford investors, said the plaintiffs' lawyer, Joseph Brophy, a partner with Hohmann, Taube & Summers LLP in Austin. In court documents, John Ward, managing director for Pershing's global services business, estimated that more than $500 million flowed through Pershing, starting in 2006. The number of investors during that time isn't yet known, but Ward estimated that more than 1,600 transactions took place.

Brophy said the Stanford CDs qualified as securities under the Texas Securities Act and should have been registered.

Pershing should have been "acutely aware" of that fact, he said, adding that under state securities law, investors are entitled to get their money back.

Visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Dismay as official Stanford Investors Committee file lawsuit against St Jude's children's cancer hospital charity

February 16, 2011
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 40 richest 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.
Stanford's victim.

News separator

Group that lost money in Stanford ponzi scheme sues St. Jude, Le Bonheur
Investors trying to retrieve billions they lost in Stanford Financial Group's Ponzi scheme have sued St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, its fundraising arm American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities Inc. and Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center Foundation for more than $7.37 million Stanford had donated.

The "Official Stanford Investors Committee" filed suit late Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.

The claim represents the Ponzi scheme's latest fallout for Memphis.

Stanford Financial assumed a major profile in town in 2007 and 2008 as title sponsor of Memphis' PGA Tour golf tournament, which benefits St. Jude.

Earlier this month, the investors and the court-appointed receiver also sued the PGA Tour for $12.9 million, an amount that may be related to Stanford Financial's sponsorship of the tournament in 2007-08.

In the hospitals' case, the money that investors are trying to get back was given when Stanford Financial was insolvent and R. Allen Stanford operated the company "in furtherance of his fraudulent scheme," the suit states.

The sum in the suit, however, will be adjusted if the committee finds any additional payments made to the groups from Stanford, according to the lawsuit.

Since the litigation is pending, ALSAC/St. Jude could not reveal a precise amount Stanford gave to the charities, Emily Callahan, chief marketing officer for ALSAC/St. Jude, said in a statement.

But she said, "Our records show that we received less than the amount named in the suit."

The money, she said, was received "in good faith directly from Stanford Financial Group" and was spent immediately "on our mission of saving kids' lives in the U.S. and around the world and finding cures for catastrophic diseases in children...

"While our hearts go out to those impacted by the Stanford investment issues, it would hurt our charitable mission to have to return the money already spent directly on clinical care and support for children suffering from cancer and other deadly diseases, including bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy treatments, on education and training of doctors and nurses who help kids worldwide, and on groundbreaking research," Callahan said in a prepared statement.

Before authorities cracked down in February 2009, Stanford also had contributed a substantial portion of its $2.5 million pledge to Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center's campaign for a new $327 million hospital.

The suit states Stanford donated to ALSAC, St. Jude and the Le Bonheur foundation $2.56 million in 2006, $2.14 million in 2007 and $2.62 million in 2008 and $35,174 in 2009.

Investors who lost an estimated $7 billion to Stanford Financial want as much of their money back as they can retrieve, and some of their other recent "clawback" lawsuits apparently have Memphis ties.

They filed a $12.9 million suit Feb. 7 against the PGA Tour.

The suit says Stanford Financial parties paid the PGA Tour $5.9 million in 2007 and $6.9 million in 2008. Although the suit didn't mention the Memphis tournament, those were the years Stanford was its title sponsor.

This past year, FedEx took over as title sponsor of the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

As he does in his filings against all defendants in the clawback suits, receiver Ralph Janvey claims the PGA received the money from Stanford without providing any services or anything of equivalent value.

The PGA Tour says it doesn't respond in the media to lawsuits.

However, Ty Votaw, the organization's vice president for communications, told The Commercial Appeal on Wednesday that Stanford, as title sponsor of the Memphis event, "received all the rights, benefits and privileges associated with that."

Stanford, like any such tournament sponsor, received such benefits as "naming rights, commercial inventory in the four-day telecast, the benefit associated with being title sponsor of a sporting event that had over 12 hours of television coverage, pro-am spots, hospitality.

"How they use those, I can't comment on," Votaw said.

"We did provide value."

For example, the international TV coverage encompasses 225 countries and 589 million homes, he said.

Stanford is accused of creating a huge pyramid scheme by guiding clients to invest more than $7 billion in certificates of deposit from the Stanford International Bank in the Caribbean island of Antigua and then misusing the money.

Staff reporter Tom Bailey Jr. contributed to this story.

Visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Dienstag, 15. Februar 2011

Forensic accountant gives Stanford investors a little hope

February 15, 2011
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 - SIPC.

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. The forensic accounting declaration makes it very clear that any funds that were intended to buy securities did not in fact reach its purpose; no securities were ever purchased and in fact it was only “fictitious securities.” Fictitious securities have been covered by SIPC in previous cases.

SIPC was denied until now with the excuse that investors got securities, but they are worthless because the Bank got broke and SIPC doesn’t insure worthless securities. But now with this declaration of Karyl Van Tassel, all the victims will get SIPC cover based on previous similar cases.

Nonmember affiliate company were also granted with SIPC cover

SIPC member
Old Naples Securities
First Interregional Equity Corporation
Churchill Securities
New Times Securities Services (New Times)

Nonmember affiliate(s)
Old Naples Financial Services
First Interregional Advisors Corporation
CD Investment Group Churchill Mortgage Investment Corporation
New Age Securities (New Age)


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