In an ABC News interview, which you can watch here. Allen Stanford claims, “We have always had the assets, hard assets, to back up everything.”
That is a rather curious statement considering how, as you may recall, Stanford,
- Lost his banking license in Montserrat in the late 1990s
- Investors in the Stanford International Bank, an offshore bank registered in Antigua and Barbuda, walked out empty-handed last February
- Stanford Bank (Panama) SA, an affiliate of Stanford Financial Group, was taken over by Panamanian government regulators
- The Venezuelan government took over Stanford Bank Venezuela
- The investigation spread to 131 countries.
And last February
Stanford asks, “How did Stanford Bank Panama, Stanford Bank Venezuela, Bank of Antigua, how did all of those customers get all their money and not lose a penny?”
I don’t know about the Stanford Bank Panama, but I do know that Stanford Bank Venezuela was taken over by the government and I am certain that Bank of Antigua is not an offshore institution, instead it is a domestic bank licensed under the Banking Act of Antigua and Barbuda and regulated by the ECCB. Last February the ECCB issued a statement declaring the Bank of Antigua sound.
According to the latest reports, there is a substantial amount of frozen assets:
Stanford Investors Ask Appeals Court to Unlock Funds
Stanford Group Co. investors asked a federal appeals court to order a Dallas judge to unlock brokerage accounts frozen when U.S. regulators sued R. Allen Stanford over an alleged Ponzi scheme and seized his assets.
Lawyers for investors argued in court papers that U.S. District Judge David Godbey lacked authority to place into receivership Stanford’s Antigua-based bank, which is at the center of the alleged $8 billion fraud. Godbey twice violated investors’ constitutional rights by freezing their accounts and denying them a chance to object, according to a copy of the filing today with the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, two of his deputies and three related companies on Feb. 17, accusing them of engineering a “massive ongoing fraud” through the sale of certificates of deposit in Antigua-based Stanford International Bank. Godbey seized all of Stanford’s corporate and personal assets and placed them under the control of receiver Ralph Janvey.
In papers filed late today in federal court in Dallas, Janvey reiterated his claim that investors have no right to join the SEC case and said adding them would make his job more complicated and expensive. He didn’t address the constitutional or sovereignty issues the investors raised in their appellate court filing.
Janvey said that his latest funds-release plan will let investors appeal his decisions to Godbey and that he’s willing to compromise on how he views investors’ accounts. He said investors who can prove that part of their money isn’t tainted by contact with the offshore CDs may qualify to have those funds unfrozen, even if the rest stays locked.
“The receiver expects to begin submitting proposed compromises to the court in the next few days,’’ Timothy Durst, one of Janvey’s lawyers, said in the filing.
My question is, is it legal for Janvey to put the burden of proof on the investors?
Back to the ABC interview, Stanford also claims to have always lived frugally, which makes you wonder about his six private jets.
I’ll be talking about this in today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern.
The SEC says it has frozen all of Stanford’s assets it has found, including $4.6 billion which a federal judge recently “unfroze” so it could be distributed to his depositors and customers. According to SEC officials, only $500 million connected to the alleged fraud has been recovered so far.