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/