Allen Stanford loses appeal

File photo of Allen Stanford leaving the Federal Courthouse where the jury found him guilty, in Houston March 6, 2012. REUTERS/Donna W. Carson

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday rejected Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford’s bid to overturn his conviction and 110-year prison sentence for running what federal prosecutors called a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans turned aside 10 arguments raised by Stanford.

These included that he was not competent to stand trial, the government did not prove its case, the sentence was too long, and the trial judge was biased toward prosecutors, including by denying him a lawyer of his choice.

“We find no evidence that the district court was partial to the government in derogation of Stanford’s right to a fair trial under the Constitution,” Circuit Judge Edith Brown Clement wrote for a three-judge panel.

Stanford represented himself in his appeal, after having retained more than a dozen lawyers over the course of his criminal case. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Once considered a billionaire but later declared indigent, Stanford was convicted by a Houston federal jury in March 2012 on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges.

Prosecutors said he ran a two-decade scam centered on the sale of fraudulent high-yielding certificates of deposit through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, and used investor funds to make risky investments and fund a lavish lifestyle.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed related civil charges over Stanford’s fraud, which authorities uncovered in 2009.

A court-appointed receiver has been liquidating Stanford’s companies. He and thousands of former Stanford investors have also pursued lawsuits against two New York law firms over their alleged dealings with Stanford.

Now 65, Stanford is housed in the high-security Coleman II federal prison in Sumterville, Florida. He is not eligible for release before 2105, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The case is U.S. v. Stanford, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-20411.

Read more Here.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official Forum


Former Stanford Financial executive found negligent

A Dallas federal civil court jury found that a former Stanford Financial Group executive failed to act in the best interests of the Antigua bank at the heart of a global, multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Losses worldwide were estimated at as much as $7 billion, with about $1 billion suffered by about 1,000 investors in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Covington areas.

The jury in the civil case found that Patricia Maldonado, Stanford Financial’s treasury manager from 2000 to 2009, failed to protect the interests of Stanford International Bank Ltd. in connection with numerous improper transfers from customer accounts. Those transfers included more than $200 million funneled to a secret Swiss bank account that documents said convicted swindler Allen Stanford and his former Chief Financial Officer, James Davis, ultimately used to pay bribes to auditors and regulators. The transfers were part of a scheme that stole billions from investors in Baton Rouge and worldwide.

The jury also concluded that Maldonado caused $50 million in damages to the bank by failing to protect its interests.

It’s unclear whether Maldonado will have to cover any of those damages.

Attorneys for Baker Botts LLP, who represent the bank’s court-appointed receiver, and Maldonado are in discussions, said Joseph F. Colvin Jr., one of Maldonado’s attorneys, who said he had no further comment.

The bank sold certificates of deposit that Stanford and others told investors were as safe as CDs from a U.S. bank. But the money for the Stanford bank’s CDs paid for Allen Stanford’s lavish lifestyle.

The Stanford Ponzi scheme was the second-largest in U.S. history. In these scams, early investors are paid dividends on their investments, but the payments usually come from a small portion of later investors’ money. As word of the fake profits spreads, more investors are sucked in, allowing the Ponzi criminals to pocket even more cash.

Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison for his 2012 conviction. Last month, Stanford filed a lengthy appeal with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Read more Here.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official Forum

High Court Won’t Revive Stanford Victims’ Claims Against SEC

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an argument by victims of Robert Allen Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme that the Eleventh Circuit’s decision shielding the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from a negligence suit gives the agency blanket immunity.

The high court denied a June petition for a writ of certiorari seeking to overturn the Eleventh Circuit’s determination that a Florida district court correctly applied exceptions in the Federal Tort Claims Act to toss the proposed class action, which accused the SEC of failing to report the Stanford scheme despite having knowledge of its underpinnings through investigations since the late 1990s. The two victims told the justices that the decision oversteps the act’s intended purpose of protecting the SEC in its fulfillment of regulatory functions.

“While immunity for core regulatory functions was the goal of the legislative scheme of the FTCA, decisions such as the Eleventh Circuit’s here would morph conduct-specific exceptions into agency-wide blanket immunity.” the petition said. “Further, by treating the exceptions as a jurisdictional matter and incrementally expanding the conduct purported to be covered by such exceptions, the Eleventh Circuit seeks to secure unprecedented immunity for the SEC.”

Read the entire article Here.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official Forum

Senate panel ponders if Stanford Ponzi scheme victims should be compensated

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., reiterated his dissatisfaction Wednesday with the Securities Investor Protection Corp. for failing to provide compensation for investors who bought fraudulent certificates of deposit from Texas businessman Allen Stanford.

Vitter told a Senate subcommittee Thursday that many brokers “plaster the SIPC logo across their doors,” offering assurances that they won’t be victimized by a fraudulent investment.

“Investors believe that if their broker dealer fails, SIPC will be there to help them,” Vitter told the subcommittee. “I can tell you from experience watching the Stanford case, trying to help them however I can, that is just patently false.”

Vitter said thousands of Louisiana investors, many from Baton Rouge, were left in the cold when the SIPC rejected a request from the Securities & Exchange Commission to compensate the victims.

Read the entire article Here.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official Forum