Thursday, 19 February 2015

Government Eyes Stanford Lands

The Antigua and Barbuda Government plans to make an offer to the Joint Liquidators of the Stanford Development Company (SDC) for the purchase of the Pavilion Restaurant and seven acres of adjacent land.

 This comes out of a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday. Reliable sources say the decision to procure the property which sits within the precincts of the V.C. Bird International Airport is influenced by a number of factors........



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


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Five years after Stanford scandal, many victims penniless


Five years after learning they were victims of a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, investors in the Stanford Financial Group say they feel abandoned, even though their losses rival those in the Madoff scam that was revealed two months earlier.

Unlike the Madoff case, in which a court-appointed trustee has said he is well on his way to recovering all of the investors' principal—estimated at $17.5 billion—Stanford victims have recovered less than one penny on the dollar since the Securities and Exchange Commission sued the firm and a court placed it in receivership on Feb. 17, 2009.

 "I do have to say the Stanford victims do feel like the stepchildren in the Ponzi world," said Angela Shaw Kogutt, who estimates her family lost $4.5 million in the scam. Shaw heads the Stanford Victims Coalition, which has been trying for years to drum up support in Washington.

 Some 28,000 investors—10 times the number of direct investors in the Madoff case—bought certificates of deposit from Stanford International Bank in Antigua, which was owned by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford. Stanford's U.S. sales force had promised the investors—many of them retired oil workers—that the CDs were at least as safe as instruments from a U.S. bank. But a jury later found most of the clients' money financed Stanford's lavish lifestyle instead of the high-grade securities and real estate it was supposed to.

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


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Ex-envoy who aided Ponzi schemer Stanford must pay $758,000, Dallas jury decides

A federal jury decided Friday that former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Peter Romero can’t keep more than $758,000 in fees, expenses and interest he earned while lending his counsel and credibility to disgraced billionaire Allen Stanford.

 Romero will have to pay that sum to the court-appointed receiver who sued him and about a dozen other members of Stanford’s handpicked cadre of well-connected advisers. Romero’s was the first of many such trials, including one set for March seeking to claw back $5 million paid to former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes.

 Stanford was convicted in 2012 of money laundering and fraud and is serving a 110-year sentence in a federal prison in Florida. He has appealed his conviction to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Receiver Paul Janvey has alleged that Romero and the other well-placed consultants failed to ask even the simplest of questions about Stanford’s phony banking empire.

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


Friday, 13 February 2015

Stanford Receiver's $1.1M Trial Against Ex-Diplomat Wraps Up

Law360, Dallas (February 12, 2015, 7:50 PM ET) -- A former diplomat facing down a fraudulent-transfer suit brought by the receiver in the R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme told a Texas jury on Thursday there is a "meanness" in the claim he must return $1.1 million he was paid in eight years of working for Stanford.

 On the final day of a four-day trial against former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Peter Romero, Romero's attorney Pat Long of Squire Patton Boggs LLP told jurors in closing statements it's not right for the receiver to try to...

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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 February 2015

Ex-ambassador says he ‘had no earthly idea’ of Stanford fraud

Former U.S. Ambassador Peter Romero looked straight at his seven jurors Wednesday and told them that in seven years working as a key adviser to Allen Stanford, he never had a clue that the man who had helped hire him away from the State Department in 2001 was a criminal or a cheat.

 “I had no earthly idea that Stanford Financial Group was a Ponzi scheme,” Romero said.

 Stanford is serving 110 years in prison, and about 20,000 investors who bought his bank’s certificates of deposit over at least 10 years have recovered only a penny on the dollar as more than $5 billion disappeared in the widest-reaching financial fraud in modern history.

 Romero is being sued for $1.1 million, including $700,000 in fees, plus expenses, that Stanford paid him over seven years to sit on his international advisory board. The trial is in federal court in Dallas before U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey.

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


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Federal trial of former Stanford aide, an ex-ambassador, continues in Dallas


In a mostly empty federal courtroom in downtown Dallas this week, seven jurors are hearing evidence about the last days of the $7 billion banking empire of the now-imprisoned Houston ex-billionaire Allen Stanford. The testimony comes in a civil trial against former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Peter Romero, the first of several well-placed former officials and political heavyweights whom Stanford paid as advisors during the last years of his banking scheme. (Previous story, here.)

 A trial against the former Houston mayor and Clinton Administration drug czar Lee Brown is scheduled for later this year, and a trial against former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes is slated for March.

 In those cases, and others to come, court-appointed receiver Paul Janvey of Dallas is demanding the defendants return fees that total tens of millions of dollars paid to them by Stanford using money stolen from clients. The receiver is suing Romero, who spent 25 years in the Foreign Service and was eventually assistant Secretary of State for the western hemisphere, repay $1.1 million in fees.

 So far the trial has made for grim testimony.

 “That’s right,” testified Lula Rodriguez, who had been assistant secretary of state under President Clinton, and then with Citigroup and later Stanford.

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


R. Allen Stanford Civil Litigation Hits the Stage

Edward F. Valdespino, partner in the San Antonio
office of Strasburger & Price.

U.S. District Judge David Godbey has started his first "clawback" trial in which a receiver is attempting to recover millions taken in R. Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme. And he's allowing another suit to go forward against Greenberg Traurig and Hunton & Williams—in which investors allege the large firms assisted in the convicted Houston financier's misdeeds.

Godbey began testimony in Janvey v. Romero on Feb. 9, a case in which receiver Ralph S. Janvey is attempting to recover more than $560,000 that Stanford paid to Peter Romero, a former U.S. ambassador, for consulting work allegedly with Ponzi money.

And on Feb. 4, Godbey denied the majority of the motions to dismiss filed by the defendant law firms in Official Stanford Investors Committee v. Greenberg Traurig. In that case, a putative class of investors accuse Greenberg Traurig and Hunton & Williams of helping Stanford shield his "offshore Ponzi bank" from regulatory scrutiny and deceive Stanford customers into believing his investment business was legitimate. [See " Stanford Investors, Court-Appointed Receiver Sue Greenberg Traurig, Hunton & Williams," Texas Lawyer, Nov. 16, 2012.]

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


Stanford Receiver Blames Ex-Diplomat For Missing Red Flags

Law360, Dallas (February 10, 2015, 8:31 PM ET) -- The receiver for the R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme on Tuesday told jurors a former U.S. diplomat traveled the world for years on Stanford’s behalf, trading on his good reputation to open doors that broadened the fraud, during the trial’s second day of testimony.

 Receiver Ralph Janvey is seeking the return of about $1.1 million paid to former U.S. ambassador to Ecuador Peter Romero, who served on Stanford’s International Advisory Board. On the stand, Janvey aimed to shred Romero's main defense: that he was an outside...

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


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

No Quick Appeal For Greenberg, Hunton In Stanford Suit

Law360, San Diego (February 10, 2015, 8:04 PM ET) -- A Texas federal judge on Tuesday rejected Greenberg Traurig LLP and Hunton & Williams LLP’s bid for a quick appeal of his decision preserving claims that the firms assisted Robert Allen Stanford in his $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

 U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey ruled in December that the receiver for Stanford’s investment firm could bring tort claims against the firms in December, rejecting Hunton’s argument that the receiver lacked standing because his alleged damages were the same losses claimed by a putative investor class....

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


Stanford Receiver Says Ex-Diplomat Can't Keep Fees

Law360, Dallas (February 09, 2015, 8:59 PM ET) -- The receiver for convicted Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford on Monday told a Texas federal jury that a former U.S. ambassador and high-level diplomat should return $1.1 million he was paid by Stanford for consulting services and investments in fraudulent CDs.

 In the first trial against an alleged Stanford insider, Ralph Janvey, the receiver who has been working for six years to recover some of the $5 billion of investor money lost in Stanford’s scheme, told jurors the massive fraud could never have been carried out...

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


Stanford's ex-wife sues government over $12 billion asset seizure

The ex-wife of disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford sued the U.S. government seeking the return of $12 billion in seized assets.

 Susan Stanford claims the assets taken and sold are half hers and the U.S. had no right to confiscate them, according to her lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington. The assets were community property and Susan Stanford "is the owner of one-half of all community assets," according to the complaint.

 The government's claim to the property was undercut because it wrongly classified certain financial products sold by R. Allen Stanford, who is serving a 110-year prison sentence for a $7 billion fraud, as securities, according to the complaint.

 R. Allen Stanford, a billionaire investor from Texas, was convicted of multiple counts of wire and mail fraud and other charges in March 2012.

 Susan Stanford alleges that the seizure was a taking of property by the U.S. without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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


Monday, 9 February 2015

Dallas trial to test whether Stanford’s aides must return millions to cheated investors


WASHINGTON — Jury selection begins Monday in Dallas in the first in a long string of trials that will drag into federal court a parade of powerful and well-connected former consultants to disgraced ex-billionaire Allen Stanford.

 Stanford used tens of millions in investors’ deposits to hire influential officials and power brokers — ex-ambassadors, Cabinet members, even the former lieutenant governor of Texas — to build his phony international banking empire. Now, court-appointed lawyers have sued this cadre of well-placed advisers, seeking to claw back the millions in fees Stanford paid them.

 The defendants include President Bill Clinton’s former drug czar and former Houston Mayor Lee Brown and former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, now an influential lobbyist in Austin and Washington. 

Monday’s trial is the first of many. The defendant is Peter Romero, former U.S. ambassador to Ecuador..............

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


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Stanford Receiver Faces Uphill Battle In 1st Insider Trial

Law360, Dallas (February 06, 2015, 8:02 PM ET) -- Trial begins Monday in the first fraudulent transfer suit against an alleged insider of convicted Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford, but Dallas jurors may be reluctant to penalize the former U.S. diplomat who worked as a consultant for Stanford if he can show he provided honest services in good faith, white collar experts say.

 The trial, before U.S. District Judge David Godbey, is the first time jurors will hear the receiver’s theory that Stanford was only able to pull off his $7 billion fraud by surrounding...

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


Friday, 6 February 2015

Greenberg, Hunton Can't Buck Stanford Fraud Class Action

Law360, New York (February 05, 2015, 7:54 PM ET) -- A Texas federal judge on Wednesday kept intact the bulk of a putative class action brought by investors accusing Greenberg Traurig LLP and Hunton & Williams LLP of assisting Robert Allen Stanford in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, saying that the investors had made the factual allegations necessary to move forward.

U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey tossed a limited number of claims brought under the Texas Securities Act that he said were barred by a statute of repose, but denied the remainder of the firms’...

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