Saturday, 21 December 2013

Senator Vitter Asks SIPC Board to Re-Vote on Stanford Matter

Below is a short transcript of a letter from Senator Vitter to Sharon Bowen acting chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation' asking the SIPC board to re-vote on the Stanford case.


Ms. Sharon Bowen
Acting Chairman Securities Investor Protection Corporation
805 Fifteenth Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005-2215

Dear Ms. Bowen:

 When Congress created the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) it mandated that SIPC's Board of Directors provide unbiased governance that represents the public's interests. The Board was structured this way to avoid SIPC's inherent conflict of interest of protecting its member firms' financial interests versus protecting investors. My fear is that a result of this conflict of interest is that SIPC is not fulfilling its Congressional mandate to protect investors who entrust their savings to a registered broker dealer. SIPC exists to give investors confidence. It was not set up to pick and choose which investors to protect based on cost. Given recent testimony at a House Financial Services hearing, I request that you reconvene the SIPC Board of Directors to fully examine the evidence supporting a liquidation of Stanford Group Company (SGC) and to vote again on the issue.


The full transcript of the letter can be read here 

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/


Thursday, 12 December 2013

GT Update Regarding Payment Date

Here is the latest update from Grant Thornton regarding payment date for claims....
We had some hold up with some disputed claims which required applications to Court – which are now done and past the appeal date. We are therefore making distribution arrangements with one of two banks – which we hope to have complete in the next two weeks. While there is a remote chance of having a the distribution out by Christmas realistically it will be early in January.

Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic242.html

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Stanford Financial Claims 7th Distribution December 4th 2013

Receiver files 7th Schedule of Payments to be Made Pursuant to the Interim Distribution Plan - On December 4, 2013, the Receiver filed his 7th Schedule of distribution payments with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The 7th Schedule will be followed by others, each of which will be submitted by the Receiver on a rolling basis as additional responses to Certification Notices are received and processed.

 To view a copy of the 7th Schedule, please click here: http://sivg.org.ag/topic240.html

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

CRT Offer to Buy Stanford International Bank Investor Claims



(Caracas, November 26 - Noticias24) -. CRT Special Investments announced Tuesday through a press release that it would buy claims from Stanford International Bank (SIB) to investors, who can "receive their money within weeks instead of having to wait years and face the uncertainty of recovery, "said Joe Sarachek, General Director of the CRT.

 Following is the full text of the statement: http://sivg.org.ag/topic237.html

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/




Sunday, 24 November 2013

Stanford Victims Coalition Update Regarding SIPC

Dear SVC Members,

 I apologize for the gap in time between updates, but I have some very exciting news today about a project I have been working on full-time all year—a legislative remedy that should get us SIPC if the bill is passed—regardless of the outcome of the SEC vs. SIPC appeal (which could still go our way). “The Restoring Main Street Investor Protection and Confidence Act,” is being introduced in the House today with a Senate companion bill to follow. A hearing of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises is set for Thursday, November 21 (victims are encouraged to attend and I will be testifying along with another Stanford victim). A Senate Banking Committee hearing will be held as well, but a date has not been set.............


To read the Complete Update from SVC Visit: http://sivg.org.ag/topic236.html 


For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/


Thursday, 21 November 2013

U.S. lawmakers seek fix to help investors file claims against brokers

Nov 20 (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. House and Senate members is seeking to make it easier for investment fraud victims to seek compensation, after investors in Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme were deemed ineligible under current law to file claims.

The bill, introduced by Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett and New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, would bestow U.S. securities regulators with greater powers to oversee the process of determining whether customers of failed brokerages qualify for compensation.

The legislative proposal comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission awaits a crucial decision from a U.S. appeals court over the fate of the Stanford victims.

The SEC is trying to get the court to force an industry-backed fund that protects investors to start court proceedings so Stanford victims can file claims to recover a least a portion of the millions they lost.

The Securities Investor Protection Corp., or SIPC, which administers the fund, has refused the SEC's request, saying Stanford investors do not meet the legal definition of "customer" under the federal law designed to protect investors if their brokerage collapses.

SIPC uses funds paid by the brokerage industry to compensate investors in the event of a bankruptcy, such as the one that occurred at Lehman Brothers in 2008.

 Allen Stanford was sentenced in 2012 to 110 years in prison for bilking investors with fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by Stanford International Bank, his bank in Antigua.

Many of the investors who purchased the products, however, did so through his Houston, Texas-based brokerage, Stanford Group Co.

SIPC argues that investors in the scheme entrusted their money to the offshore, unregulated Antiguan bank and not to the U.S. broker-dealer. Moreover, it says that Stanford's investors actually did receive their certificates of deposit, as promised, even though they turned out to be virtually worthless.

A federal district judge agreed with SIPC's legal position in July 2012, and tossed out the SEC's lawsuit.

The SEC appealed the ruling before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in October, and is awaiting a decision.

 SIPC's refusal to let Stanford victims file claims has frustrated many lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Vitter, who has been among the most vocal in fighting for the Stanford victims.

"The Stanford Ponzi scheme devastated many Louisiana families who invested their hard-earned savings in good faith that it would be there for them when they retire," Vitter said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"Our bill will fix a key problem we've seen with the system, which currently allows SIPC's Wall Street members to benefit economically from the SIPC guarantee while denying the claims of legitimate victims," he added.

The legislative proposal by the four lawmakers will be vetted in a hearing before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday.

Among the witnesses scheduled to testify are Stephen Harbeck, the president of SIPC, a representative from Wall Street's leading brokerage trade group, and Angie Kogutt, a Stanford victim in charge of the Stanford Victims Coalition.

The 19-page bill would amend the definition of "customer" to ensure that investors who deposit cash to buy securities can still be covered by SIPC protection, even if the money is initially given to a firm that is not a SIPC member.

 It would also give the SEC more authority to force SIPC to act without the need for court approval.  

Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic235.html  

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

LEGISLATIVE ALERT 11/12


LEGISLATION TO BE INTRODUCED IN HOUSE, HEARINGS SET  BILL ALSO BEING PREPARED IN SENATE!
  • Garrett & Maloney to introduce legislation in House. Senator Vitter current lead sponsor in Senate
  • House hearings set for 11/21
  • Selective grassroots to commence
  • 5th Anniversary media needs victims willing to be interviewed by media
Dear NIAP Member & Madoff Investor, 

 Greetings.  I am excited to announce that SIPC legislation is to be introduced later this week or early next followed by Congressional hearings on Thursday, Nov 21. The legislation is to be jointly introduced by Congressman Garrett (NJ) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY).  Similar legislation is expected to be introduced shortly in the Senate as well, consistent with the strategy laid out by Congressman Garrett in the last Congress. 

The intention is to have the legislation introduced by approximately 15 co-sponsors, and followed by an extensive outreach effort via Garrett’s and Maloney’s offices, our lobby team and our own grassroots efforts to ramp up sponsorship numbers.

 The specific bill language is still going through final stages, and a bill number and title will be finalized shortly. We will make the bill public as soon as we receive the final version.  As you probably know, it prevents clawback of the innocent, insures SIPC payments to $500,000 based on account statements, and gives the SEC authority over SIPC.

 After hearings, the bill will be moved to a mark-up session in the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, voted on and moved to the Financial Services Committee.

  Next Steps on Grassroots. We will want to focus our House grassroots efforts on key Financial Services Committee members, as well as other influential House members, particularly those in districts or states with sizeable Madoff and Stanford victim constituents.  Our Senate strategy will focus on Senate members on the Senate Banking Committee and other key Senate members.

  The first wave of Grassroots letters and communications however will go out to those who are sponsoring the legislation at introduction, thanking them for their support and encouraging their reaching out to their colleagues to do the same. 

 Stay Tuned!  In the coming days we will be providing more detailed information, as well as laying out the details for the grassroots outreach.  We will also undertake a rapid fundraising campaign to assist costs of Congressional hearings and grassroots support.

  We look forward to working with all previous and current leaders in this effort as well. 

  Game on!
  Most sincerely,
 Ron Stein, CFP
 President, NIAP

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Victims Needed for Media interviews & Congressional testimony

Volunteers and Funds Needed. Please assist us in whatever way you can!  

              rstein@investoraction.org

Call us at: 800-323-9250


Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic233.html 

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/



Thursday, 7 November 2013

Is the SEC Here to Help Defrauded Victims in a Ponzi Scheme, Or Not?

Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps

 The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) plays an active role in protecting the rights of investors. Its own mission statement is:
The mission of the Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.
Yet, in the high-profile Ponzi scheme case of R. Allen Stanford and Stanford Financial Bank, the SEC is finding itself aligned both for and against efforts to recover funds for the benefit of the defrauded victims. Positions taken by the SEC in two different pending litigation matters in the Stanford case may have polar opposite effects on the financial outcome for defrauded investors.

 One case, SEC v. SIPC, now pending in the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, involves a battle between the SEC and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) over whether the defrauded victims are “customers” under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) and therefore entitled to payment from SIPC. This is the first time that the SEC has ever commenced an action seeking SIPC coverage for investors. The lower court found that the Stanford investors are not entitled to SIPC coverage, but the SEC continues to champion the cause of the investors in the Circuit Court seeking SIPC coverage for them.

 The other case, Chadbourne & Park LLP v. Troice et al., involves an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over the issue of whether Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) bars lawsuits by a class of victims against third parties to recover their losses from alleged wrongdoers. The Fifth Circuit held that the claims against two law firms, an insurance brokerage firm and a financial services firm could proceed despite SLUSA. The U.S. Government, on behalf of the SEC and other agencies, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the investor claims should be barred under SLUSA. If the Government’s position prevails, defrauded victims will be denied recovery on their claims.

 In what would be a worst case scenario for the investors, the SEC will lose in SEC v. SIPC so that investors will be denied “customer” status and protection, and the Government’s position in the Chadbourne & Park case will prevail, denying investors the ability to use self-help to sue alleged wrongdoers.

 At a quick glance, it seems that the SEC is on the wrong side of the SLUSA fight in Chadbourne & Park, given the potentially adverse consequences for investors if the SEC’s position is adopted. But perhaps the issue has more do with the way that the applicable statutes are written and interpreted than with any intent on the part of the SEC.

 In Chadbourne & Park, the principal question to be considered by the Supreme Court is:
Does the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (“SLUSA”), 15 U.S.C. 77p(b), 78bb(f)(1), prohibit private class actions based on state law only where the alleged purchase or sale of a covered security is “more than tangentially related” to the “heart, crux or gravamen” of the alleged fraud?
SLUSA prohibits a state law class action alleging a purchase or sale of a covered security “in connection with” an untrue statement or omission of material fact. A “covered class action” is a lawsuit in which damages are sought on behalf of more than 50 people, and a “covered security” is a nationally traded security that is listed on a regulated national exchange. So the question remaining is: What does “in connection with” mean? 

The target defendants in the litigation at issue argue that “in connection with” covers the following two factual scenarios that touch “covered securities” in the Stanford case: (1) that Stanford lied to purchasers of CDs and told them that the CDs were backed by investments in stocks; and (2) that some of the CD purchasers must have liquidated stocks in order to purchase the CDs.

 The Fifth Circuit did not agree that either of these two scenarios were sufficient to bar claims under SLUSA, holding that the purchase or sale of a covered security must be more than tangentially related “to the ‘heart,’ ‘crux,’ or ‘gravamen’ of the defendants’ fraud.”  The Fifth Circuit held that the claims against the defendants could proceed.

 The Government, on the other hand, has taken the position in its amicus brief to the Supreme Court that the relevant language of SLUSA was taken from the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and should be read consistently with similar language in Section 10(b) of the Act.  In urging a broad reading of the words “in connection with,” the Government contends that:
[A] broad reading is essential to the achievement of Congress’s purpose in enacting both Section 10(b) and SLUSA.  Under Section 10(b), it enhances the SEC’s ability to protect the securities markets against a variety of different forms of fraud. Under SLUSA, it furthers Congress’s objective of preventing the use of state-law class actions to circumvent the restrictions by the PSLRA [Private Securities Litigation Reform Act] and by this Court’s decisions constraining private securities-fraud suits.
In an amicus brief taking the contrary position, 16 law professors directly challenge the concept of broadening the application of SLUSA to include the certificates of deposit purchased by the Stanford investors. They note that the certificates of deposit are not themselves covered securities and argue that therefore SLUSA should be “interpreted in a way that does not preclude investors from using state courts to pursue claims seeking traditional state law remedies for acts that do not involve covered securities within the meaning of the federal securities laws.”

 To stress their position that SLUSA should not apply to non-covered bank-issued securities that may be potentially backed by covered securities, the 16 law professors float the following hypothetical class action claims, among others, that they contend would improperly be prohibited under SLUSA if interpreted that broadly:
  • "A car dealer who lies to customers about the terms of a car loan, where the car loans are securitized in a pool and interests in the pool are sold off as covered securities."
  • "A credit card company that securitizes credit card balances fails to pay appropriate wages to telephone operators and answering card holder questions, and the operators file a state class action alleging violations of state wage and hour laws."
  • "A nationally-traded securities clearing firm engages in sex discrimination in compensating clerical workers for work done in the securities office, and the workers file a sex discrimination class action law suit."
In summary, where the Supreme Court draws the lines on the application of SLUSA could have a significant impact on a variety of state law claims that may or may not have much to do with securities. The SEC stands behind a broad reading of SLUSA under the pretense of protecting the securities market, but its position appears to have the consequence of harming, not helping, defrauded victims by blocking state law damage claims.

 The issues are undoubtedly complicated, and there are a variety of competing considerations. From the investors’ perspective, however, they can just add this to the list of roadblocks to getting their money back.

Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic232.html 

  For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Stanford Financial Claims 6th Distribution November 4th 2013

Receiver files 6th Schedule of Payments to be Made Pursuant to the Interim Distribution Plan - On November 4, 2013, the Receiver filed his 6th Schedule of distribution payments with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The 6th Schedule will be followed by others, each of which will be submitted by the Receiver on a rolling basis as additional responses to Certification Notices are received and processed.

 To view a copy of the 6th Schedule, please click here: 

 http://sivg.org.ag/topic230.html 
 
 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/




Monday, 4 November 2013

U.S. justices divided in Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme case


On the first day of its new term on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided over whether lawyers, insurance brokers and others who worked with convicted swindler Allen Stanford could avoid lawsuits by investors seeking to recoup losses incurred in his $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

 New York-based law firms Chadbourne & Parke and Proskauer Rose and insurance brokerage Willis Group Holdings Plc were all sued by former Stanford investors.

They are part of a consolidated case along with two other defendants, financial services firm SEI Investments and insurance company Bowen, Miclette & Brittin, for which the Supreme Court heard a one-hour argument on Monday.

The defendants sought Supreme Court review after the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March 2012 said the lawsuits brought under state laws by the former Stanford clients could go ahead.

 The former Stanford clients are keen to pursue state law claims because the Supreme Court has previously held that similar so-called "aiding and abetting" claims cannot be made under federal law.

The defendants have argued that under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA), the claims cannot be heard under state law either.

The class action lawsuits filed by the former investors accused Thomas Sjoblom, a lawyer who worked at both law firms, of obstructing a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into Stanford, and sought to hold the other defendants responsible as well.

Stanford's fraud involved the sale of certificates of deposit by his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank. Much of the litigation centers on whether these qualified as securities under applicable laws.

 Stanford is serving a 110-year prison sentence.

ORAL ARGUMENT 

During Monday's oral argument, the justices questioned to what extent a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would affect the SEC. The Obama administration, representing the SEC, sided with the defendants.

The administration said in court papers it was against the lawsuits because they would conflict with Congress's intent to give the SEC the "ability to protect the securities markets against a variety of different forms of fraud."

 Justice Department lawyer Elaine Goldenberg told the justices that lawsuits like those filed by the Stanford investors have "a very particular effect on investor confidence and the integrity of the markets, which is one of the purposes of the securities laws."

 Several justices, including Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Stephen Breyer, indicated they would be uncomfortable with allowing such lawsuits to proceed in state court, although they also seemed keen for some kind of limit to federal authority.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the swing vote in close cases, questioned whether the claims made by the Stanford investors were any different from similar cases that courts already have determined to be excluded from state law claims.

But Justice Anthony Scalia signaled support for the plaintiffs on the language of the federal law in question, which says that state lawsuits are barred in relation to activity "in connection with the purchase or sale" of a covered security.

"There has been no purchase or sale here," he said.

A ruling in the case is expected before the term ends in late June.

The cases are Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice et al, U.S. Supreme Court. No. 12-79; Willis of Colorado Inc et al v. Troice et al, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-86; and Proskauer Rose LLP v. Troice et al, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-88.  

Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic229.html  

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Monday, 28 October 2013

Stanford Financial Group Receivership Update

The four schedules filed by the Receiver address total distributions of approximately $12.59 million of the $55 million that has been authorized for distribution by the Court. For Stanford Investors who have not yet received an initial distribution, there are a number of reasons why that may have occurred, including the following:

 •Investor may not have filed a claim with the Receiver’s claim process before the Bar Date fixed by the Court.
•The Investor may not have responded to a request for additional information from the Receiver’s claim processing agent, Gilardi & Co.
 •The Investor may have objected to the Receiver’s Notice of Determination with respect to the Investor’s claim.
•The Investor may not have completed and returned the Receiver’s Certification Form.*
•The Investor’s distribution check may simply be in process, such that it will be listed on subsequent schedules to be filed by the Receiver.

 The Receiver is continuing to process Notices of Determination, objections to Notices of Determination, and Claim Certifications. Additional payment schedules will be prepared and filed on a rolling basis. It is the Receiver’s expectation that additional payment schedules will be prepared and filed every few weeks (provided that there are sufficient claims being processed to justify that pace).

 *The Receiver advises that a significant number of Investors who filed claims and received Notices of Determination have not yet returned completed Certification Forms. Completed Certification Forms must be received before distribution checks are issued.

 Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic227.html 

 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Stanford Financial Claims 5th Distribution October 25th 2013

Receiver files 5th Schedule of Payments to be Made Pursuant to the Interim Distribution Plan - On October 25, 2013, the Receiver filed his 5th Schedule of distribution payments with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The 5th Schedule will be followed by others, each of which will be submitted by the Receiver on a rolling basis as additional responses to Certification Notices are received and processed.

To view a copy of the 5th Schedule, please click here:

http://sivg.org.ag/topic225.html


For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/



Thursday, 24 October 2013

Kachroo Legal Services Stanford Update October 23rd 2013

STANFORD UPDATE OCTOBER 23rd 2013

TO ALL SEC CLIENTS
TO ALL SFA CLIENTS


Dear Stanford Clients:

We write to update you with important information regarding the claim against the SEC and


ZELAYA V. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

As you may be aware, United States District Court Judge Robert N. Scola recently issued an order granting the Government’s second motion to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ complaint. This ruling comes despite the historic victory previously achieved in surviving the Government’s first motion to dismiss. The result of the order is that the lower court has made a final determination on the entire case and as such KLS is now in a position to appeal the entire case to the United States Court of Appeals for authoritative resolution of all issues.

To that end, KLS has filed a notice of appeal earlier this month, and will submit its full appeal brief in November. KLS will of course keep all clients up to date with developments in the case as they arise, including the approximate timeline of the appeal.


STANFORD FURTHER ACTIONS

In accordance with our previous updates, we would like to make sure that all clients are aware of progress with the Dallas receiver. By now, clients should have received:

1) A notice of Determination
2) A Certification Notice.


If You Have Already Received A Certification Notice

For those of you who have already received a notice directly, it is important to let us know as soon as possible so that we can assist you in processing your claim. Please forward any and all paperwork you have received from the Receiver. Please also sign the attached confirmation in order for us to be able to deal with the Receiver on your behalf directly.


If You Have Not Yet Received A Certification Notice

If you have not yet received a notice, we can check on the current status of your case on your behalf. To enable us to do this, please sign the attached confirmation. Please also be vigilant for any notifications sent to you directly by email as there are strict deadlines to respond.


If You Are Not Yet a Stanford Further Actions (SFA)

Client If you have not yet signed a retainer agreement with KLS, time is running out to submit and process these claims. If you would like us to deal with these claims to the receiver on your behalf, please sign the enclosed authorization form and or contact us with any queries you may have. We can then forward you our standard retainer letter.


SALE OF STANFORD INVESTORS’ CLAIMS

KLS is being solicited by a number of funds that appear to have increased their initial offers to acquire claims from Stanford investors to between 10 and 20 cents on the dollar (i.e. 10-20% of their claimed value). If any of our clients have an interest in pursuing such an offer, please advise us directly so we can facilitate discussions with these funds.

Very truly yours,

Gaytri D. Kachroo
Kachroo Legal Services, P.C.


Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic224.html 


 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Receiver files 4th Schedule of Payments to be Made Pursuant to the Interim Distribution Plan

On October 17th, 2013, the Receiver filed his 4th Schedule of distribution payments with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The 4th Schedule will be followed by others, each of which will be submitted by the Receiver on a rolling basis as additional responses to Certification Notices are received and processed.

To view a copy of the 4th Schedule, please click here:

http://sivg.org.ag/topic217.html


For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/


Thursday, 17 October 2013

SEC battles with industry fund over Stanford victims' claims

The SEC, as SIPC's regulatory supervisor, has argued that it has the legal authority and discretion to force the fund to take action.

 "Is there anything stopping the SEC from issuing a rule defining 'customer' the way that you want to define it here?" Garland asked.

 "I don't believe so," replied John Avery, the attorney arguing the SEC's case. But if it were challenged, he added, the SEC would land right back in court again.

 Allen Stanford was sentenced in 2012 to 110 years in prison for bilking investors with fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by Stanford International Bank, his bank in Antigua.

 Many of the investors who purchased these products, however, did so through his Houston, Texas-based brokerage, Stanford Group Co.

 At the heart of the case is the question of whether the victims of Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme meet the legal definition of "customer."

 SIPC argues that the investors in the scheme entrusted their money to the offshore, unregulated Antiguan bank and not to the U.S. broker-dealer.

 Moreover, they say that Stanford's investors actually did receive their certificates of deposit as promised, even though they turned out to be virtually worthless.

 The law, they said, is not designed to combat fraud or guarantee an investment's value.

 The SEC, however, says the location of the Stanford bank is irrelevant because the entire business organization was operating one massive fraud, and that in fact no actual certificates of deposit truly existed. 

"It's very difficult to draw a meaningful distinction between any of these Stanford entities, which were all part of the scheme, they were all in on the scheme, they didn't follow corporate formalities and the money was commingled," SEC attorney John Avery argued. "We believe the money, at least constructively, stayed with SGC."

 SIPC's attorney Michael McConnell urged the court not to allow the SEC to simply lump the Stanford business entities together so the investors can file claims.

 He added that the investors received disclosures explicitly telling them the Antiguan bank was not SIPC-protected or U.S.-regulated.

 "You have people who in the face of disclosure statements clearly to the contrary, go off to an offshore bank seeking ... outlandishly high rates of return knowing that it is not covered by the securities laws," he said. 

"Effectively, what the SEC is telling us is that SIPC should implicitly give free insurance coverage to a fly-by-night organization."



 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/


Obama campaign pocketed Ponzi schemer cash

Thirty-nine political candidates, committees have not returned R. Allen Stanford contributions 

 By Alison Fitzgeraldemail

 Majority of funds recovered in Stanford Ponzi scheme spent by receiver By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

 October 10, 2013

 President Barack Obama received $4,600 in campaign contributions from R. Allen Stanford less than a year before the Texan was arrested in 2009 for running one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

 Despite repeated requests, the Obama campaign has not returned the money to the court-appointed receiver tasked with recovering money from the fraud and returning it to Stanford’s victims. The campaign still has $5.4 million in its coffers even though the president won't be running in another election.

 (Update, Oct. 16, 2013, 1:39 p.m.: The Obama campaign's new 3rd quarter filing indicates it has $372,549 remaining.)

 Obama isn’t the only politician who has declined to return Stanford campaign contributions to help make Stanford’s defrauded investors whole. A total of 39 candidates and committees have kept their campaign funds despite the pleas by the receiver, Texas Lawyer Ralph Janvey, to return the money.

 A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, which now speaks for the Obama campaign, did not immediately comment. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, has the largest outstanding contribution that hasn’t been returned — $10,000 — according to the web site of the receiver. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee also received $10,000 from Stanford and his companies, the web site says.

 Other members of Congress on the receiver’s list include Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.

 Stanford was sentenced in 2012 to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of $7.2 billion. The Texan ran an investment firm that sold fraudulent certificates of deposit in an Antigua-based bank that he owned called Stanford International Bank Ltd.

 Five Democratic and Republican national campaign committees, which had received more than $1.6 million from Stanford and his companies, fought attempts by Janvey to recover those contributions. In October 2012, a federal appeals court ordered the committees to turn over the money and pay the receivership’s attorney fees.

 Janvey has not sued Obama’s campaign, or the other 38 committees who haven’t returned their contributions, because the cost of a suit would be more than the amount recovered, said Kevin Sadler, a lawyer with Baker Botts that represents the receivership.

 Many members of Congress and presidential candidates returned the ill-gotten contributions voluntarily. Former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) returned a total of $27,500 and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., reimbursed the receivership $14,000.

 Janvey was appointed in February 2009 to wind down Stanford’s web of companies and try to recover as much money as possible to return to the investors who were defrauded in the scheme.

 To date, he has recovered $234.4 million. However, the costs of winding down the companies, and of lawsuits trying to recover money, have eaten up more than half that amount.

 Stanford investors last month began receiving their first checks since the receivership was created in amounts that totaled about a penny for each dollar lost.



 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/



Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Canada Recovers $17 Million for Stanford Victims

Canada Recovers $17 Million for Stanford Ponzi Scheme Victims

Ontario Attorney General Recovers $17 Million for Victims of Ponzi Scheme. Largest Ever Recovery Under Ontario’s Civil Forfeiture Law.

 TORONTO -- Ontario's Attorney General has obtained a court order to recover $17 million for victims of an international investment fraud -- the largest ever recovery under Ontario's civil forfeiture law.

 "In 2009, U.S. authorities referred this case to our Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities Office. I am proud that victims of this large-scale, international fraud are going to be compensated thanks to excellent cooperation between Ontario and the United States,” said Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen.

 The money was linked to an international Ponzi scheme operated over the past decade by the Stanford group of companies in the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Under the scheme, returns to investors were paid from their own money or the money of other investors, rather than from profit. U.S. authorities filed suit against Stanford and his companies in 2009.

 Although the money was held in accounts at a major Canadian bank, the majority of victims are in the U.S. and Latin America. As a result of the court order, the $17 million will be forfeited to Ontario and then transferred to the United States Department of Justice, which will distribute the funds to victims.

 Another $6 million remains under control of the court and is designated to be returned to victims who deposited money in accounts after the fraud was uncovered.

 The Stanford Ponzi scheme resulted in $5.9 billion of investor losses worldwide, with an estimated 28,000 victims. The number of Canadian victims is not yet known.

 The Stanford group of companies include the Stanford International Bank, Ltd., Stanford Group Company and Stanford Capital Management LLC.

 The Civil Remedies Act, 2001 allows the Attorney General to ask the civil court for an order to freeze, take possession of, and forfeit to the Crown, property that is determined to be a proceed or an instrument of unlawful activity.

 Ontario has approximately $24.5 million in frozen property, pending completion of civil forfeiture proceedings.

 Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic214.html 

 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/ 


Attorney General Recovers $17 Million for Victims of Ponzi Scheme Largest Ever Recovery Under Ontario’s Civil Forfeiture Law

September 24, 2013 6:00 a.m.
Ministry of the Attorney General

 Ontario's Attorney General has obtained a court order to recover $17 million for victims of an international investment fraud -- the largest ever recovery under Ontario's civil forfeiture law.

 The money was linked to an international Ponzi scheme operated over the past decade by the Stanford group of companies in the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Under the scheme, returns to investors were paid from their own money or the money of other investors, rather than from profit. U.S. authorities filed suit against Stanford and his companies in 2009.

 Although the money was held in accounts at a major Canadian bank, the majority of victims are in the U.S. and Latin America. As a result of the court order, the $17 million will be forfeited to Ontario and then transferred to the United States Department of Justice, which will distribute the funds to victims.

Quick Facts
•Another $6 million remains under control of the court and is designated to be returned to victims who deposited money in accounts after the fraud was uncovered.
•The Ponzi scheme resulted in $5.9 billion of investor losses worldwide.
•There are an estimated 28,000 victims. The number of Canadian victims is not yet known.
•The Stanford group of companies include the Stanford International Bank, Ltd., Stanford Group Company and Stanford Capital Management LLC.
•The Civil Remedies Act, 2001 allows the Attorney General to ask the civil court for an order to freeze, take possession of, and forfeit to the Crown, property that is determined to be a proceed or an instrument of unlawful activity.
•Ontario has approximately $24.5 million in frozen property, pending completion of civil forfeiture proceedings.

 Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic214.html 

 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Saturday, 12 October 2013

SLUSA - What the courts have to decide

For years federal law enforcers ignored warnings about R. Allen Stanford's $7 billion fraud, but don't expect government officials to suffer any penalty. Instead, plaintiffs lawyers are seeking to use Stanford's crimes as a pretext to launch class-action lawsuits against other people and businesses.

 Now the Supreme Court will decide whether to let them. The question at oral argument this week in Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice was whether state class-action lawsuits filed against various vendors to Stanford's operation should be allowed to proceed.

 Last year Stanford was convicted and sentenced to 110 years in prison for defrauding thousands of investors around the world. Because the enforcement division of the Securities and Exchange Commission spent more than a decade ignoring recommendations to investigate from both inside and outside the SEC, victims will likely recover very little of the billions they sent to Stanford.

 So plaintiffs lawyers want to take it out on others who did business with Stanford, even if they didn't have anything to do with his bogus offering of certificates of deposit from his bank in Antigua. Stanford told investors that the money backing their CDs was invested in safe, liquid securities that trade in U.S. public markets, when in fact investors were funding a Ponzi scheme.

 The trial lawyers want to sue under state law because previous Supreme Court decisions—especially Central Bank of Denver v. First Interstate Bank of Denver and Stoneridge v. Scientific Atlanta—make it difficult under federal law to sue companies that merely did business with fraudsters, unless these vendors directly participated in misleading investors.

 Moreover, a 1998 reform prevents securities class-action cases from being brought under state law. The Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act says that such cases must be filed under federal law if "the defendant used or employed any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance in connection with the purchase or sale of a covered security."

 Covered securities include stocks and bonds issued by firms that trade on U.S. exchanges. At Monday's oral argument, Justice Antonin Scalia noted that Stanford didn't fulfill his promise to put investors' money in these securities, and therefore such a case "can't be in connection with a purchase or sale that has never occurred."

 As usual, Justice Scalia is doing a public service by focusing on the text of the law the court is asked to interpret. But a fraudulent claim of buying securities sure sounds to us like a "deceptive device" that's "in connection with" a purchase of securities. Otherwise, could Bernie Madoff argue that he didn't commit securities fraud because he pocketed the cash from victims instead of investing it?

 The Justices also wrestled with the significance of Stanford's various deceptions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had overturned a district court and ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in part because Stanford made other significant misrepresentations unrelated to securities.

 But on Monday Paul Clement, attorney for the defendants, rightly noted that without the promise of these liquid assets, "nobody's going to give their money to a bank in Antigua. The reason you give your money to a bank in Antigua is because you think it's backed by something more than a piece of paper, and the something more was purchases of covered securities on the market."

 Even if the Supreme Court rules against them, Stanford's victims can still pursue justice via federal class-action suits, or via individual suits in both state and federal court. But overriding federal law to allow suits against defendants who may have done nothing wrong is anything but just.


 Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic203.html 

 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Friday, 11 October 2013

Reports of Gilardi withholding Distribution Cheques

We are receiving reports of Gilardi withholding distribution checks to certain claimants.


If you are affected then Read More: http://sivg.org.ag/topic210.html 

 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Grant Thornton Advertisement of intended dividend

Stanford International Bank Limited – in Liquidation 

 Notice is hereby given that the Joint Liquidators intend to declare a first dividend to unsecured creditors within a period of 4 months from the last date of proving. Creditors who have not proved their debts must do so by 31 October 2013 otherwise they will be excluded from the dividend. The required proof of debt form, which must be lodged at the address below, is available online at http://www.sibliquidation.com/claims-administration.


 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/

Victims of Stanford Ponzi scheme fear they’ve been burned again


Ralph Janvey, the receiver in the Stanford case, has mailed checks from $2.81 to $110,000 to investors -- less than a penny of return on the dollar.

 By LAUREN KYGER 
 Center for Public Integrity 
 Published: 10 October 2013 05:01 AM 
 Updated: 10 October 2013 07:14 AM 

 When 18,000 people got fleeced in R. Allen Stanford’s $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme, the court appointed a receiver in 2009 to recover as much money as possible from Stanford’s failed companies to return to investors.

 After 41/2 years, the receiver, Ralph Janvey, began mailing checks ranging from $2.81 to $110,000 to hundreds of investors. That amounts to about $55 million of the $6 billion lost in the scheme, less than a penny on the dollar.

 Unlike the investors, Janvey, who has billed from $340 to $400 an hour for his services, is making out quite well. To date, Janvey and his team have recovered $234.9 million from the bankrupt Stanford Financial Group and spent more than half the total — about $124 million — on personnel and other expenses.

 “From the victims’ point of view, there is no way, shape or form that the receivership could be viewed as successful, this has been one of the biggest failures of a liquidation in history".

” The largest chunk of the Janvey team’s expenses — $67.1 million — was spent on “receivership’s professional fees and expenses,” according to court documents. Those fees and expenses add up to more than 28.5 percent of the money recovered from Stanford’s assets so far.

 Janvey has “complete and exclusive control, possession, and custody” of the assets left behind by Stanford’s business, according to the court order that named him receiver on Feb. 17, 2009.

 Janvey’s attorney, Kevin Sadler of Houston law firm Baker Botts, said the high costs are an unfortunate downside of unwinding R. Allen Stanford’s 18-year financial house of cards, which had offices in 23 states and 13 countries and more than 3,000 employees.

Worldwide tug of war 

 Sadler said Janvey has been fighting a “worldwide tug of war over what was left of Stanford’s assets,” involving multiple national governments and liquidators in Antigua, where Stanford International Bank was located. In March, Janvey reached a settlement to recover about $300 million of Stanford’s assets that have been frozen in Switzerland, Canada and the United Kingdom.

 Sadler said such lawsuits are now the best hope for getting more money back for Stanford’s victims.

 Janvey has been enmeshed in controversy regarding the Stanford liquidation. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which nominated Janvey and rarely has public disputes with receivers, won a motion to rein in some of his spending in June 2009 after the first fee applications were submitted.

 The expenses included a $160,000 payment to a public relations firm called Pierpont Communications for three months of reviewing, sorting and forwarding emails in 2009. In a written objection to the fee application, court-appointed examiner John Little said he had “significant doubt that Pierpont has created any benefit for the receivership estate.”

 $9,439 a day 

 FTI Consulting, a forensic accounting firm, billed more than $528,000 in airfare, parking, hotels, taxis and subway costs to the estate for its first 56 days on the job. Little objected, pointing out that this amounted to “$9,439 in travel-related expenses per day, every day, during the first 56 days.”

 A large part of the receivership’s early spending — $48 million — went to winding down the more than 100 companies in the Stanford Group, costs that were unavoidable, Sadler says.

 Today, Little says, Janvey’s spending has slowed. In the 12 months ending June 30, he’s spent $9.1 million, compared with $20 million spent in the first two months of the receivership in 2009.

 U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey denied a 2011 request by unhappy investors to intervene in the case because they believed Janvey was spending too much. Godbey noted that “the rate of expenditures on professional fees has decreased markedly over time, with the bulk of such expenses incurred relatively early in the receivership.”

 When large Ponzi schemes or companies go bankrupt, court-appointed receivers often find themselves employed for long stretches with a guaranteed income. There are no clear rules or guidelines dictating how a receiver should go about unwinding a failed or fraudulent business or recovering its assets, Sadler said.

 That allows receivers like Janvey to work full time for years on an estate, billing either investors or the congressionally chartered Securities Investor Protection Corp., or SIPC.

 R. Allen Stanford’s $7 billion scam was just one of many Ponzi schemes to fall apart within the past five years. Most notably, Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for operating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that cost investors more than $17 billion.

 Irving Picard, the Madoff receiver who was appointed in December 2008, says he has spent about $850 million trying to recover money for investors. The number is huge, but it’s less than 10 percent of the $9.5 billion he has returned to Madoff’s victims. He’s distributed $4.9 billion.

 He declined to say whether he believes Janvey’s costs are too high.

 “I don’t know enough about the specifics about what he had to do,” Picard said.

 Sadler said Madoff’s scheme was a “compact operation to wind down” compared with Stanford’s, which involved more than 100 interconnected companies.

 Like Picard, he said, Janvey watches his costs.

 “We’ve been pretty sensitive to the fact that we can’t spend $10 to recover $10 — or even $5,” he said. 

Janvey has sued about 1,800 former Stanford employees and customers who he says got money from the company, either in salary, bonuses or investment returns, that rightfully belongs to the defrauded investors. 

“Everyone we have sued, we have sued because in both fact and law we believe they received money they were not entitled to,” Sadler said.

 He said the total amount that Janvey could recover from these lawsuits is $1 billion, the only remaining source of money for the defrauded investors. Most of the former employees and clients are fighting the suits because they believe they only got money they were entitled to.

Political parties sued

 Janvey has sued thousands of people, but he has forgone many lawsuits because the return wasn’t worth it. For example, Janvey sued the Democratic and Republican national party committees to recover Stanford’s contributions. He also sent letters to the more than 50 senators and House members who received Stanford contributions but did not go to court.

 Fewer than 20 returned the money, he said.

 Janvey has been widely criticized for spending too much, but Sadler insists it’s the only way to resolve a major fraud.

 “When these things collapse, they just cost a lot of money to clean up,” he said.

 The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, independent investigative news outlet. For more of its stories on this topic, go to publicintegrity.org.

 $7.2 billion - Amount bilked from investors by R. Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme
 $234.9 million - Amount recovered from the bankrupt Stanford Financial Group
 $124 million - Amount spent by the receiver on personnel and other expenses
 $55 million - Amount returned to investors so far


 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum http://sivg.org.ag/