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:

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

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: 

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

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.  


For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


  • 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


Victims Needed for Media interviews & Congressional testimony

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


Call us at: 800-323-9250

Read More: 

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

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: 

  For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

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: 
 For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

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.


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.  


For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum