Barbados DLP and BLP must return proceeds of crime to Allen Stanford’s victims

Source:Barbados Free Press

Barbados politicians received Stanford money – stolen money.

The same anonymous insider who accurately tipped us off to the 3S scandal now reports that Allen Stanford gave political donations to both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party.

Our source says that both US and UK Authorities contacted the current Government of Barbados about various Stanford financial transactions that occurred in or through Barbados. A small part of the information received, (almost as an afterthought, according to the source) contains details of Standford companies’ political donations and expenditures in Barbados.

With this in mind, the question must be asked:

“Considering that Stanford’s political donations are now known to be ‘Proceeds of Crime’, will the DLP and BLP politicians declare how much was received and return those funds to the victims of Stanford’s ponzi scheme?”

Prior to his arrest, Allen Stanford provided more than US$7 million dollars to US politicians alone. We know that because US politicians are required to declare their sources of funding.

Unlike the United States and many other countries, Barbados has no campaign financing rules, disclosure requirements or conflicts of interest laws for elected and appointed government officials. In Barbados “campaign donations” are just as likely to end up in the Prime Minister’s personal bank account, but as former PM Owen Arthur knows – even when caught it doesn’t matter because there is no law against it.

How much did Stanford provide to the Barbados Labour Party and Democratic Labour Party and associated individuals over the years?

Prime Minister Freundal Stuart and Opposition Leader Owen Arthur need to come clean with their fellow citizens and to return the stolen money to the victims.

Propaganda Continues at The Barbados Advocate

In the latest edition of the Barbados Advocate, Guyson Mayers states that Barbados was “spared” from Allen Stanford because our “relevant authority” was warned about him before any damage was done. Wishful thinking by Mr. Mayers or just part of the normal spin at the Barbados Advocate since that paper became the de facto political mouthpiece of the DLP government?

Considering that even the TD Bank saw US$2.1 billion of victims’ funds flow through its accounts and the lawsuits haven’t stopped coming, it’s a little early to be saying Barbados has been “spared”…

“…I can say that Sir Allan Stanford arrived in the Caribbean bearing gifts like Santa Clause out of season, and nearly everybody fell at his feet. To our credit, when it looked like he had an interest in Barbados, one of our principal officials at the time put the relevant authority on notice that such an interest was expressed and that the appropriate care should be taken to protect Barbados. We were spared him.”


Stanford’s Lawyers Say They Need Two More Years to Prepare for Fraud Trial

Source:Laurel Brubaker Calkins (Bloomberg)

Lawyers for R. Allen Stanford, the Texas financier accused of a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, asked to delay a trial set to begin Jan. 24 for at least two years so they can prepare their defense.

Stanford’s trial preparation suffered during the first nine months of this year because his previous lawyer “focused on attempting to obtain funds from the insurance provider” more than on the financier’s defense,” the lawyers, Ali Fazel and Richard Scardino, said yesterday in a court filing. “During this period of time, the accused determined that little progress was made toward actual trial preparation.”

Fazel and Scardino were appointed as Stanford’s attorneys in October, after U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston declared the former billionaire indigent. They told Hittner in October that they would try to be ready for a January trial, which was then about 90 days away.

In requesting a delay yesterday, the lawyers said they won’t have enough time to properly analyze more than 5 million documents and dozens of potential witnesses before the current trial date.

Stanford, 60, has been detained as a flight risk since June 2009 on charges he swindled investors through the sale of bogus certificates of deposit by Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. His lawyers also have asked that Stanford be released on bond, claiming he is too heavily medicated in prison to participate in his defense.

Mental Fitness

Stanford’s personal doctor declared him incompetent to stand trial in court papers this month, and his lawyers have asked for a hearing to gauge the financier’s mental fitness, according to court records. Prosecutors received court approval to conduct their own psychiatric evaluation of Stanford, according to court records.

Fazel said in yesterday’s filing that the government, while it doesn’t oppose a delay, “wishes to be heard on the length of the continuance.”

Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Stanford, who denies all wrongdoing, is on his fifth team of criminal defense lawyers after losing a court fight over access to $100 million in legal defense insurance coverage through his Stanford Financial Group of companies.

Stanford fired two successive criminal-defense lawyers in 2009 after each experienced what they described as personality and strategic conflicts with the jailed financier. Stanford was also briefly represented by the Houston Federal Public Defender’s Office and by two lawyers who were allowed to withdraw from the case after Stanford lost his insurance coverage in September.

Jets, Yachts, Island

Stanford was ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s richest men in 2008, with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion including a fleet of jets, yachts and a private Caribbean island. All of his corporate and personal assets were frozen by court order when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of running a “massive” Ponzi scheme in February 2009.

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

Long wait continues for Stanford investors

Source:LOREN STEFFY (Houston Chronicle)

Another Christmas is about to pass, and once again, investors of R. Allen Stanford find their stockings — and their nest eggs – empty.

The former Caribbean money man’s trial date is approaching here in Houston next month, but it’s unclear if it will proceed as scheduled.

During the past year, Stanford has been changing lawyers more often than Lady Gaga changes outfits, and he’s now left with court-appointed counsel that argues the erstwhile billionaire is unable to stand trial because he’s doped up on pain medication.

Stanford has, by white-collar crime standards, received harsh treatment. He’s been denied bail and remained in a privately run prison since his arrest in the summer of 2009. He was severely beaten by other inmates, which is why he’s on medication. A judge has refused to allow him to tap his company’s insurance policy for the legal defense of officers and directors, which has prevented him from mounting the sort of high-dollar defense that we saw from, say, Enron’s Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling.

In the past two years, though, Stanford himself has ceased to be the story. The most amazing aspect of the Stanford saga is how little money has been recovered. As the court-appointed receiver has chased assets around the globe, he’s found Stanford’s accounts stunningly empty.

In an attempt to scrape together a tiny sliver of the more than $7 billion that authorities believe was lost in the Stanford case, the receiver earlier this month sued four of Stanford Financial’s top officers, who haven’t been named in earlier civil or criminal actions. That effort, if successful, would recover no more than $12.4 million, though the former employees will undoubtedly challenge the receiver’s recovery effort. Attorneys for at least one of them told Bloomberg News their client intends to contest the receiver’s claim.

While it falls under the receiver’s legal responsibility, as a practical matter, I’m not sure that, spread amongst all the aggrieved Stanford investors, it’s enough money to be worth the effort.

The other untapped pool for possible recoveries in a case like this is other investors, those who bought Stanford’s certificates of deposit and sold them, pocketing the return, before the company unraveled.

Not like in Madoff case
The trustee tracking down assets on behalf of Bernard Madoff’s investors recently scored an unexpected windfall after a Florida philanthropist who’d invested with the con artist agreed to return more than $7 billion her husband had collected as profit on Madoff investments over the years.

But that’s not likely to happen in the Stanford case. A judge has already ruled that former investors who collected returns from Stanford’s certificates of deposit have been allowed to keep the proceeds, according to an earlier court ruling. They, after all, bought into the alleged scam just like the other victims.

Warnings long before
To add insult to investors’ losses, U.S. diplomatic cables released last week show that as far back as 2006, officials had concerns that Stanford might be involved in an international scheme of bribery and money laundering. The cables, released amid the latest flood of secret U.S. government documents from the WikiLeaks website, shows ambassadors and other officials made an effort to avoid being photographed or have other contact with Stanford.

The warnings made the rounds in diplomatic circles almost three years before the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Stanford of running a massive fraud and got a judge to appoint the receiver to recover assets for investors.

It’s not clear if the State Department shared its con-cerns with other agencies, though the SEC had also been alerted to possible wrongdoing. In the ensuring years, while the agencies failed to act, Stanford’s empire grew, ensnaring hundreds of new investors.

Now, those investors await Stanford’s trial, seeking justice in place of restitution, because it’s about all they have left.

For them, there is no medication to ease their pain.

WikiLeaks: Embassy Believed Financier Was Rotten

Source: CBS News

U.S. diplomats took rumors of accused Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford so seriously four years ago that they made sure to avoid being photographed with him.

The embassy in Barbados referenced rumors that Stanford was involved in “bribery, money-laundering and political manipulation” in a 2006 cable, nearly three years before he was accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion in a Ponzi scheme, the Guardian newspaper of London reported Monday.

The disclosure comes from the trove of secret State Department cables released to a number of news outlets by the document-dumping website WikiLeaks.

The discovery of the cable comes as Stanford’s trial nears its scheduled start date of Jan. 24, 2011. A psychiatrist working for the defense found the financier incompetent to stand trial, according to a report from The Associated Press. Prosecutors asked a federal judge Monday to order Stanford to be examined again, the AP reports.

The 2006 cable reported on a meeting the U.S. ambassador in Barbados had with Stanford and the Barbados prime minister, the Guardian reported.

Officials wrote, “Allen Stanford is a controversial Texan billionaire who has made significant investments in offshore finance, aviation, and property development in Antigua and throughout the region. His companies are rumored to engage in bribery, money-laundering and political manipulation.”

The cable’s author made sure to note that the ambassador “managed to stay out of any one-on-one photos with Stanford” and that embassy employees were told to stay away from him, the Guardian reported.

The cable adds to reports that the government knew about Stanford well before he was charged in February 2009. After Stanford was charged, the inspector general for the Securities and Exchange Commission found that the agency had suspected since 1997 that he was running a Ponzi scheme.

How R. Allen Stanford Bribed Congress

Source:The Judiciary Report

An insightful article in the Miami New Times explored the bribery aspect of the R. Allen Stanford case. It also serves to confirm what I have stated all along, bribery is a way of life for many in the corporate world. I saw that firsthand in the Madonna case, which coincidentally happened in Miami as well, much like many elements of the Stanford case.

The R. Allen Stanford ponzi case reveals how astonishingly easy it is to bribe Congress. The FBI and SEC knew of Stanford’s misconduct since the 90’s and did nothing. Why? Stanford gave $5,000,000 to various Republicans and Democrats in Congress to kill a bill introduced by former president Bill Clinton A/K/A “Bubba” that would have shut fraudsters like him down. The bill was called the Financial Services Antifraud Network Act.

After the donations to Congress people, said bill addressing bank fraud was mysteriously killed in the Senate. Had it passed, Stanford’s goose most likely would have been cooked.

Another thing that disgusts me about the Stanford case, is how he corrupted the judicial and arbitrary system, using his looted ponzi money, to buy influence with judges, in terrible bids at silencing employees that began blowing the whistle several years ago.

Charles Hazlett, former Stanford employee that was defrauded in court, should sue him again

Said American employees that left in separate cases several years ago or were terminated when they figured out he was running a ponzi scheme, legally tried to receive their pay and all that was owed to them, but due to corruption by Stanford, were slapped with $150,000 to $200,000 in legal fees for daring to file a claim and speak out about his wrongdoing.

Said judges and arbitrators should be brought up on fraud charges, as these people made serious, credible allegations that were 100% true and had you heeded the warnings, instead of fawningly bowing to corruption, investors all over the world wouldn’t be out $8 billion dollars and America’s name in the financial world would not have sustained another terrible blackeye.

Madoff, Stanford and other greedy, corrupt titans in the corporate sector, killed the American dream for many. They also killed free trade, with this crooked redistribution of wealth.

These men and women are not successes. They are thieves, frauds, crooks and liars, who should have gotten real jobs instead of stealing from everyone else who actually has one.

Success in the corporate arena is when you build a company from the ground up that provides a true service – such as American Airlines (air travel), Apple (computers), Macy’s (clothes and housewares) and Marie Callender’s (food) to name a few.

Stealing everyone’s money under false pretenses, so you can live a lavish lifestyle makes you a failure and a fraud.

The Fall of a Titan

Even more than Bernie Madoff’s tale, Allen Stanford’s rise and fall is the story of the past decade in America, where greed mixed with cynical politics birthed a perfect storm for accused hucksters such as Stanford to bring the global economy to its knees. And as Stanford’s story shows, the warning signs were there. They were simply ignored…

In 1999, a DEA investigation found that members of the vicious Juárez Cartel in Mexico had deposited more than $3 million in Stanford’s bank to launder drug money. Stanford quickly surrendered the cartel’s money to the DEA and earned praise from the agency for his quick action. But later that year, federal regulators placed Antigua on a blacklist of nations suspected of money laundering and fraud.

That same year, the Clinton administration introduced a bill to crack down on overseas banks favored by gambling rings, drug militias, and terrorists. Two months later, according to a study by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, Stanford hired a powerhouse lobbying group to fight the bill and began donating to both major parties. He handed out $208,000 to Republican campaign committees and $145,000 to Democrats that year. Among his biggest recipients were powerful Texas lawmakers, including House Democratic Caucus Chair Martin Frost. The bill, despite passing a House committee 31-1 with strong Treasury Department backing, was allowed to die in a Senate committee.

In 2002, as Congress took up a bill called the Financial Services Antifraud Network Act, which would have strengthened U.S. regulators, Stanford upped his lobbying. That year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — a nonprofit group that monitors campaign money — Stanford’s company gave $800,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — the vice chairman of which was Florida’s own Sen. Bill Nelson. The senator received more of Stanford’s cash than any other member of Congress, according to one study, with $45,900 donated to his campaign. Stanford, in fact, personally hosted a fundraising event for Nelson in Florida. The anti-money-laundering bill died in a Senate committee …

In all, Stanford spent nearly $5 million lobbying Congress between 1999 and 2008 and dished out $2.4 million to federal candidates. He also sponsored dozens of free, “fact-finding” trips to Antigua and other Caribbean islands for politicians and their staffs on his fleet of jets. Records of the trips show that former Florida Rep. Katherine Harris took one such jaunt to Saint John’s. Disgraced Texas Republican Tom DeLay flew 11 times on Stanford’s jets, according to the Dallas Morning News…

Like Hazlett’s, Basagoitia’s claims were summarily dismissed, and both brokers were left to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay and attorney’s fees to Stanford. Neither ever heard from the SEC regarding their accusations. And if their voices weren’t loud enough for regulators, another Miami employee took his suspicions to court in 2006 and laid out in even greater detail Sir Allen’s schemes….

In the filings, De Maria said he told his immediate boss in 2004 he suspected the firm was laundering South American drug money, lying to investors, running a gigantic Ponzi scheme, and paying off Antiguan and American politicians to look the other way. The company settled De Maria’s case almost immediately after his lawyers got a court order that would have forced Allen Stanford to testify…

The regulatory board that heard Hazlett’s and Basagoitia’s testimony is sanctioned directly by the SEC, and De Maria publicly made his claims in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Yet the wing of the government charged with rooting out bank and investment fraud did not respond to the concerns piling up around Sir Allen’s operations..