Interesting Facts:
Thief who steals thief has one hundred years of pardon.
Lying and stealing are next door neighbors.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Proskauer, Hunton, Chadbourne Attack Antiguan Stanford Deal

Proskauer Rose LLP, Hunton & Williams LLP and Chadbourne & Parke LLP on Thursday challenged a settlement between the U.S. and Antiguan receivers in charge of compensating victims of Robert Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme, saying the deal exposes them to duplicative litigation.

The three firms join Greenberg Traurig LLP in urging a Texas court to reject the settlement, which will resolve disputes about jurisdiction over $300 million that Stanford had in the U.K., Switzerland and Canada.

Proceedings are already underway in the U.S. that are looking to hold the law firms liable with respect to their legal work for Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, alleging that they did not do enough to stop Stanford’s fraud.

Furthermore, the deal ignores earlier court-ordered prohibitions to the U.S. and Antiguan receivers pursuing independent lawsuits against lawyers and duplicating their efforts in the two nations' court systems, as well as terms that would allow the Antiguan receivers to conduct U.S. discovery without being subject to the personal jurisdiction of U.S. courts, the firms argue.

The settlement agreement includes a provision that allows the receivers and government agencies to pursue the same claims in different jurisdictions, the firms contend. This could force them to defend themselves against the same allegations both in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and again in Antigua.

“This result creates the possibility of inconsistent judgments, and in any event would entail a waste of judicial resources and the resources of the parties,” Proskauer said in its objection to the deal.

The firms are asking the court to either deny the settlement should or remove the provision that allows for the duplicate claims.

Stanford rose to prominence as the head of the multinational financial services group that bore his name, whose banking arm was the Stanford International Bank in Antigua. The four firms that have objected served as outside law firms to some of Stanford's companies for a time, but all have denied any knowledge or culpability in his massive scheme.

After investigators in February 2009 alleged that the consistently above-average returns Stanford promised were possible only because of fraud, regulators in both Antigua and the U.S. appointed receivers to handle the claims. They had been at odds until the settlement was reached.

The settlement, announced March 12, would allow distributions to victims to go forward without litigation between the U.S. receiver and his counterparts in Antigua — joint liquidators Marcus Wide and Hugh Dickson of the accounting firm Grant Thornton — threatening to disrupt the process as it had in the past.

A hearing in Antigua on the proposed settlement, which requires U.S., U.K. and Antiguan approval, is scheduled for April 8.

Stanford was convicted of securities fraud in March 2012 and sentenced to 110 years in prison.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stanford fighting SEC fines

Convicted Ponzi-scheme operator R. Allen Stanford, who continues to protest what he says was an unfair criminal trial, is now fighting the government’s quest to squeeze billions of dollars in penalties out of him in a related civil lawsuit.
Stanford, currently serving a 110-year prison sentence, this week filed an objection to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s bid to impose billions of dollars in monetary penalties against him and several other defendants in a civil securities fraud lawsuit. He was convicted last year of criminal charges that he defrauded investors out of about $7 billion.
In court papers, the SEC argues that Stanford’s criminal conviction validates the similar claims it makes in its civil suit. The agency says Stanford, two of his businesses and one of his former associates should, at a minimum, face a penalty of $5.9 billion — the amount that federal prosecutors have ordered Stanford to forfeit in the criminal proceeding.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Friday, March 15, 2013

KLS - Stanford Update March 2013

March 14, 2013
In our last update, we notified you that the magistrate judge in our SEC class action denied the Government's request to stay all discovery. We are summarizing here the outcome of the discovery hearing which was held in Miami on February 14, 2013. One of the key hurdles to overcome in an action against the Government is the discretionary function exception. The magistrate made clear that this hurdle has been overcome and the court had already ruled on the sovereign immunity issue. The magistrate also held that "it is not obvious that [the Government's second motion to dismiss] will succeed." A copy of this ruling is attached for your review. Following this ruling, we have moved forward with discovery and we continue to wait for the district court to rule on the Government's second motion to dismiss.

In view of the delays caused by the Government's motion to stay discovery, we requested that the Court push back certain pre-trial and trial deadlines to allow us adequate time to pursue the discovery required to prove our case. We are happy to report that the Court granted our request and pushed back discovery deadlines to afford us this opportunity, which also resulted in a new trial date set for April 7, 2014.

In accordance with the foregoing and the undersigned's rulings in open Court, it is ORDERED and ADJUDGED as follows:
1.- The Motion to Stay Discovery [D.E. 50] is DENIED.

2.- The Motion to Compel [D.E. 51] is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE as to Request No. 1 and Interrogatory No. 6 based on Defendant's agreement to supply the names and contact information of the SEC Fort Worth District Office staff members in response to Interrogatory No. 1. Such information is hereby designated as "CONFIDENTIAL, FOR ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY", and shall be provided to Plaintiff's counsel by February 19, 2013.

3.- The Motion to Compel [D.E. 51] is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE as to Request Nos. 2, 13-16 and Interrogatory Nos. 1-5, 7-8 subject to the following terms. Plaintiffs may notice a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of the SEC, designating as categories the information sought in their discovery requestes, but narrowed in terms of time, entity and scope as more fully explained at the February 14, 2013 hearing. Within one week of receipt of the Rule 30(b)(6) Notice of Deposition, Defendant may submit a letter to the undersigned setting forth any objections to the designated categories at the undersigned's e-file address, Plaintiffs may respond to any such objections, by the same means, within one week. Thereafter, the undersigned will rule on the objections or, if necessary, set a telephonic hearing to address them. The parties' letters will be appended to the Order on the objections.
The Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of the SEC shall be scheduled on a date that is mutually agreeable to the parties, and at a time when the undersigned will be available to rule on any disputes that may arise regarding its scope. To this end, counsel may contact Chambers to coordinate the deposition date. Further, the parties may submit a proposed confidentiality order prior to the deposition.

To read the Zelaya Order on Motion to Stay and Motion to Compel:

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stanford investors’ lawsuit heads to federal court

Eighty-nine investors defrauded by now-imprisoned Houston financier Robert Allen Stanford want $115 million from seven insurance companies in addition to claims that could total as much as $1 billion against the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions and SEI Investments Co.
But six of the insurers responded Monday by transferring the investors’ 4-year-old state court suit to Baton Rouge federal court, action the investors have fought hard in the past.
“We feel confident that this case should not be removed to federal court, because the state court has already ruled on it” and granted the investors class-action status, said Phillip W. Preis, Baton Rouge attorney for the investors.
Telephone and email requests for comment from three New Orleans attorneys for the insurance companies were not returned.
The investors sued OFI and Pennsylvania-based SEI in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge in 2009. That was soon after the Securities and Exchange Commission shut down Stanford’s worldwide operations and alleged his investment program was nothing more than a fraudulent scheme.
But a federal judge in Dallas, where the SEC had filed its complaint, yanked the Louisiana investors’ suit into his Texas court and then dismissed the case.
The Dallas judge ruled in 2011 that the Baton Rouge investors suit violated a Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act prohibition against state court litigation that could negatively affect the nation’s financial markets.
Last year, however, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the Dallas judge and concluded that investors could pursue recovery of their losses in Baton Rouge state court.
That returned the investor claims to state District Judge Michael Caldwell, who held hearings on disputed allegations that OFI knew of Stanford’s misdeeds and should have warned investors, as well as a complaint that SEI ignored a duty to tell investors that Stanford’s assets were grossly overvalued. SEI’s services were contracted by Stanford.
Caldwell issued a judgment last year that certified the investors’ suit as a class action, meaning that all people who lost investments at Stanford Trust Co.’s Baton Rouge office could join the suit as plaintiffs against SEI, OFI and now SEI’s seven insurers.
Caldwell has not yet scheduled a trial for the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on appeals of related Stanford investor cases in October.
In Baton Rouge, attorneys for both SEI and OFI repeatedly have denied all allegations that their clients failed any responsibility to alert investors about Stanford’s frauds.
“The role of the OFI is to regulate, not to ensure that those who invest in companies subject to OFI regulation will never lose money as a result of criminal behavior,” OFI attorney David Latham told Caldwell in one court filing.
“SEI did not make any false statements” to Stanford investors, SEI attorney J. Gordon Cooney Jr. told Caldwell in September. Cooney later added: “SEI has not violated Louisiana securities law.”
Court records show the investors added SEI’s insurers to its list of defendants in an amended complaint that was filed Feb. 13 under seal.
Preis said Monday the amended complaint was filed under a nonpublic seal because it contains information related to OFI’s exam reports on Stanford Trust, which Caldwell ruled earlier must remain confidential.
The six insurers that transferred the dispute Monday to U.S. District Judge James J. Brady are Allied World Assurance Co. (U.S.) Inc., Continental Casualty Co., Arch Insurance Co., Indian Harbor Insurance Co., Nutmeg Insurance Co. and certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London.
Those insurers told Brady a seventh firm — Endurance Specialty Insurance Ltd., of Bermuda — did not join their motion because Endurance officials had not yet been served with a copy of the investors’ suit.
Stanford has been in federal custody since June 2009, when he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Houston for worldwide frauds alleged to exceed $7 billion. He was convicted on fraud charges last year and sentenced to a prison term of 115 years.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Allen Stanford Investors May Get Some Money Back

Investors in Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme, who have recovered nothing in the four years since it blew up, could finally get some money back under a $300 million multi-national settlement in the case.

For years, investors, attorneys and regulators have been wrangling over Stanford assets frozen in Canada, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The complex settlement, still subject to court approval in five countries, would clear the way for most of the $300 million to be distributed to investors later this year.

The agreement was announced Tuesday by the court-appointed receiver in the U.S. and by liquidators appointed by the court in Antigua, where Stanford's offshore bank was based. The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are also part of the settlement.

(Read More: Allen Stanford: Descent from Billionaire to Inmate # 35017-183)

"The Settlement Agreement is a product of the parties' common goal of optimizing and enlarging the overall recovery for creditor-victims as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. The parties to the Agreement all believe that the Agreement is in the best interests of the victims of the Stanford fraud," the receiver and liquidators said in a joint statement.

(Read More: Allen Stanford Investors Face Long Haul to Recover Money.)

According to the statement, the agreement ensures the money will go to victims—not to the IRS or the Antiguan government.

The agreement, while significant, would still leave Stanford's 28,000 investors with devastating losses. Since the Securities and Exchange Commission shut down Stanford's financial empire in February, 2009, none of the $7 billion in Stanford assets has been returned to investors.

Last year, the U.S. receiver asked for court approval to distribute some $55 million, and is still awaiting court approval. The new settlement would be on top of that. Another $700 million is still tied up in litigation.

(Read More: Allen Stanford Investors Could Get (Tiny) Payout)

Authorities said Allen Stanford skimmed most of the investors' money to fund his lavish lifestyle. Stanford, who is serving a 110-year sentence at a federal penitentiary in Florida, is appealing his conviction last year on 13 criminal counts.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Stanford U.S. Receiver Has Deal With Antigua Counterpart

R. Allen Stanford’s Antiguan- appointed liquidators agreed to stop seeking control of the convicted financier’s assets in a deal that may allow defrauded investors to recover some of the $300 million Stanford stashed in accounts outside the U.S.
Receivers appointed by the U.S. and the Antiguan courts have battled for four years to control assets recovered from Stanford’s financial-services empire. Stanford, 62, was convicted last March of leading a $7 billion investment fraud based on bogus certificates of deposit at his Antigua-based bank. He was sentenced to 110 years in prison.
“The funds that are the subject of this agreement represent the largest available source of investor money that Allen Stanford had not already spent by the time his Ponzi scheme collapsed,” Kevin Sadler, lead attorney for U.S. receiver Ralph Janvey, said in an e-mail today. “In the absence of this agreement, these funds would remain out of reach of the Stanford victims for years to come.”
For dropping their dispute with Janvey and the U.S. Justice Department, the Antiguan liquidators will receive fees of $36 million from Stanford’s frozen funds in the U.K., according to a statement jointly released by both receivers today.

Professional Fees

The Antiguan liquidators have already received $20 million from the U.K. accounts, so the additional payment will boost their professional fees to $56 million -- almost as much as Janvey’s receivership team has been paid since U.S. securities regulators seized Stanford’s operations in February 2009.
Janvey’s professionals had been paid $63.3 million in fees and expenses as of Feb. 7, according to his latest status report. That represents about a quarter of the $230.2 million Janvey has recovered for the estate. He has paid out an additional $53.3 million in costs to wind up Stanford’s business interests.
Janvey recently proposed a $50 million interim distribution be paid to investors, pending court approval.
Angie Shaw, a founder of the Stanford Victims Coalition, denounced the agreement as “ransom” that rewards the Antiguan liquidators at the investors’ expense.
“While the agreement does end a four-year international turf war that has cost the victims untold millions of dollars, the only true beneficiary of the agreement is the Antiguan liquidators,” Shaw said in an e-mail today. “The Antiguan liquidators are essentially getting a ransom fee in exchange for dropping their litigation for control over the frozen foreign accounts holding what is left of the victims’ life savings.”

Dallas Judge

While Janvey was awarded control over all Stanford assets by the Dallas judge in charge of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission case against Stanford, courts in the U.K., Switzerland and Canada initially awarded control of about $320 million in foreign accounts to Antiguan court-appointed liquidators Marcus Wide and Hugh Dickson of Grant Thornton.
The Justice Department placed an administrative hold on the European funds, and it has been trying to repatriate the money since Stanford and his co-conspirators were convicted last year.
The Antiguan liquidators have fought to retain control and have filed some asset-recovery lawsuits that duplicate actions already initiated by Janvey, according to court filings. Wide and Dickson haven’t publicly stated how much they’ve been able to recover for Stanford’s investors.

Stanford Victims

Edward H. Davis Jr., one of the Antiguan liquidators’ attorneys, said in an e-mail today that Dickson and Wide have already recovered and frozen more than $227 million in Stanford assets “independent of the amounts recovered by Janvey and in addition to the approximately $300 million frozen” in overseas accounts.
“The joint liquidators have conducted intensive investigations and lodged claims and are in the process of launching additional lawsuits that have the potential to yield billions of dollars in recoveries to pay the victim creditors,” Davis said. “To suggest that the joint liquidators held the estate for ransom demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding about how a liquidation process maximizes recoveries for victim creditors.”
Peter Morgenstern, a lawyer who sits on the Official Stanford Investors Committee, said the investors should be allowed to decide whether the Antiguan liquidators receive more fees or whether the U.S. government should continue fighting to recover Stanford’s frozen European funds through international accords designed to recover criminal proceeds.

‘Significant Assets’

“The issue is how significant assets recovered by the U.S. government for the benefit of Stanford victims should be spent,” Morgenstern said in an e-mail. Much as creditors have a say in how bankruptcy proceeds are distributed, he said, the defrauded investors should also be consulted before such a large part of the estate is paid in professional fees.
Janvey has asked U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas to hold a hearing at which investors can express their opinions of the deal. No hearing has been set.
Under terms of the agreement announced today, the Antiguan liquidators will distribute the $44 million remaining in the U.K. accounts to investors after the liquidators have received their $36 million in working capital. Wide and Dickson will also distribute about $60.5 million of the funds currently frozen in Switzerland, according to the joint statement.

Fund Transfers

About $23 million in Canadian funds and $132.5 million in Swiss funds will be transferred to the Justice Department and Janvey for distribution to investors through a system the U.S. receiver is establishing, according to the joint statement.
The agreement “creates a plan for the distribution of almost 90 percent of the frozen assets from the U.K., Canada and Switzerland pursuant to which distributions will be made as soon as the necessary approvals are obtained from the pertinent authorities in those countries,” the Antiguan liquidators said in the joint statement.
Courts in the U.S., Antigua and the U.K. must still sign off on the deal before any funds are transferred, according to the statement.
Sadler, the U.S. receiver’s attorney, said the deal was the result of months of negotiations involving officials in five nations.
“This agreement is one of the most complex undertakings of its kind,” he said in an e-mail. “This was no easy task.”
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).

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


March 12, 2013
Mr. Ralph Janvey
Mr. Marcus Wide
Mr. Hugh Dickson

Mr. John Little
Mr. Edward C. Snyder
Mr. Kevin M. Sadler
Mrs. Jennifer Ambuehl

Dear Mr. Janvey, Mr. Wide and Mr. Dickson,
Months have gone, it is March 2013 and the real victims of the Stanford fraud (hereinafter "we", "us") have not yet received any information about the distribution of our money located in the USA and abroad.

So far we have suffered from lack of information and transparency. However this should not happen because you are working for us.

As it was mentioned by the OSIC in January 22, 2013: "We (the OSIC) strongly believe that you, the victims of this horrible crime, should decide how your money is spent, and whether all available funds should be distributed to you, or to fund ongoing efforts by the receivership or the joint liquidators"

We demand that all the money collected so far to be immediately distributed to us.

We agreed all together with this petition and as both of you are working for us (and both of you have being paid so far with our money), you must listen to our petition. We have taken this decision, so please inform us as soon as possible:
1- how much money there is for distribution so far identified in the USA and abroad
2- how the complete distribution will be effectively implemented and how all the money will be paid to us.

We cannot keep waiting and waiting.

The real victims of the Stanford fraud

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Friday, March 8, 2013

Senator to Play Offense for Saints Against SEC Nominee; Stanford news

Senator to Play Offense for Saints Against SEC Nominee

By Dave Michaels & Cheyenne Hopkins - Mar 8, 2013 11:58 AM CT

How can a U.S. senator score easy points with home-state voters? Bring up football when others are talking about the minutiae of Wall Street regulation.

Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, plans to cross-examine Mary Jo White next week about her assessment of wrongdoing by New Orleans Saints players and coaches in the National Football League team’s “Bountygate” scandal. White, nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, was retained by the NFL in 2011 to review evidence that team paid players to injure opponents.

The probe resulted in the suspension of several key defensive players and coaches, including Saints head coach Sean Payton. The players suspensions were overturned last year on appeal. The Saints didn’t recover from the suspensions, finishing with a 7-9 win-loss record in 2012, one year after going 13-3. The team won Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.

“If Mary Jo’s work at the SEC is anything close to her botched work for the NFL, folks who want to protect their investments, like the victims of the Stanford Ponzi scheme, are in trouble,” Vitter said in a statement. The senator’s state is home to many Stanford investors.

The three-member arbitration panel that overturned the players’ suspensions faulted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his handling of the discipline. It didn’t address White’s review of the facts or the quality of the investigation.

Vitter’s staff says he plans to ask White how many of the NFL’s cooperating witnesses actually mentioned a “pay for injury” program, and if any of them had an interest in verifying the league’s claims.

Read more:

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum

Obama chooses lawmaker accused of corrupt ties with Chavez to attend funeral

Obama chooses lawmaker accused of corrupt ties with Chavez to attend funeral
By Julian Pecquet - 03/07/13 06:43 PM ET

President Obama is sending a lawmaker whose relationship with Hugo Chavez has come under scrutiny in the past to represent the United States at the Venezuelan strongman's funeral on Friday.

Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) allegedly met with Chavez in 2006 at the bequest of one of his donors, indicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, to request a criminal probe into a Venezuelan banker who had fallen out with Stanford, The Miami Herald reported in 2009. The banker, Gonzalo Tirado, was charged with tax evasion and theft a year after the meeting with Meeks.

Meeks said at the time that the trip was aimed at thanking Chavez for providing heating oil for poor Americans through Citgo, a subsidiary of the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela. Citgo is the primary donor of heating oil to Citizens Energy, a nonprofit organization led by former Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) that provides discounted heating oil to poor families.

“I am honored to be a part of a delegation that will represent the United States at the Funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday, March 8,” Meeks said in a statement Thursday. “My deepest sympathies go out to the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela. Venezuela is an important nation to the Western Hemisphere. I remain committed to building the relationship between our nations. As always, I stand in continued support of the Venezuelan people especially at this time of mourning.”

His office did not respond to a query about his ties to Chavez.

Stanford's lawyer, Kent Schaffer, acknowledged at the time that his client had talked with Meeks about Tirado -- but denied anything improper happened, The New York Post reported.

"I know from my conversation with Allen Stanford that there's no reason to believe that anything illegal or unethical was asked of the congressman," he said.

"They were having problems with an employee they believed was stealing from the bank . . . and he simply was reporting what had happened. I'm not aware of him making any request for anything in particular."

The good-government group CREW has long accused Meeks of corruption.

“It’s one thing to accept gifts of real estate and cash. It’s a whole new level to reach out to dictators on behalf of any donor – the fact that it was Allen Stanford just makes it creepier,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said at the time the allegations first came to light. “It seems there is nothing Rep. Meeks won’t do for cash. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.”

Former Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) will also attend Chavez's funeral, the State Department said. Delahunt met with Chavez in 2005 to strike a deal for discounted winter home heating oil for low-income Massachusetts residents, earning him accusations that he was coddling up to an anti-American dictator.

Chavez died of cancer at a Cuban hospital on Tuesday. Vice President Nicolas Maduro said he had been poisoned and expelled two American officials for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland denied those accusations on Thursday.

“This is part of a tired playbook of alleging foreign interference as a political football in internal Venezuelan politics,” Nuland said. “And if we're going to get to a place that we can do better together, this kind of stuff has to stop.”

James Derham, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Caracas, will represent the State Department at the funeral. Maduro said Thursday that Chavez's body will be permanently displayed in a special tomb.

Read more:

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group - SIVG official forum