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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Accountant appointed to investigate Stanford companies

Accountant appointed to investigate Stanford companies
By Tahna Weston - Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – An accountant has been appointed to look into the business affairs of companies of former financier R Allen Stanford.

Hordley Forbes of Forbes & Associates, Chartered Accountants, will conduct investigations into Stanford Development Company (SDC) Ltd and three other affiliated companies who are registered owners of property in Antigua.

Attorney General Justin Simon QC on March 5 obtained a court order for the investigation.

Forbes has been empowered to enter into SDC’s owned or operated properties to demand and examine books, documents, correspondence, contracts, corporate and accounting records.

He will also be seeking the co-operation of directors, managers, former directors, accountants, and legal counsel, all of whom are under an injunction not to interfere with or prevent the inspector from conducting his investigation.

“The application was filed in October 2012 on a number of grounds including that SDC and the other companies may have been formed and managed for a fraudulent and unlawful purpose and in particular to defraud customers of Stanford International Bank. That its obligation to pay severance to ex-employees remains outstanding despite disposition of real property, and the management of the company is questionable with the sole shareholder and director having been sentenced to 108 years imprisonment for massive fraud.

“The investigator is to report back to the court within 30 days of his appointment. The order was served on the registered office of the companies and personally on Barbara Streete and Andrea Stoelker with a Penal Notice attached,” Simon told OBSERVER media.

In January this year, SDC applied to the High Court for leave to file a claim against the Registrar of Companies for her refusal to accept and file documents, which seek to appoint Barbara Streete, a director and to amend the company’s Articles of Association to allow persons who do not hold shares in the company to be appointed directors.

The registrar was reportedly not satisfied with the authenticity of the documents presented. The application was heard on February 28 and decision has been reserved.

Following the filing of that case in June 2010, Andrea Stoelker resigned as director in August 2010, and obtained a power of attorney from R Allen Stanford, which he subsequently revoked.

SDC in September 2012 filed an application against Stanford International Bank Ltd. (SIBL), which is in liquidation.

The High Court ruled on January 21, 2013, that Barbara Streete and Hugh Marshall Jr lacked the authority to conduct affairs on behalf of SDC.

It was also found during the ruling that the company “has no properly constituted Board of Directors and as such it has no legal capacity to conduct the business of SDC”, and that “Ms Barbara Streete is not a director of SDC and should cease holding herself out as such.”

That decision is being appealed by SDC.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)

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