In a mostly empty federal courtroom in downtown Dallas this week, seven jurors are hearing evidence about the last days of the $7 billion banking empire of the now-imprisoned Houston ex-billionaire Allen Stanford. The testimony comes in a civil trial against former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Peter Romero, the first of several well-placed former officials and political heavyweights whom Stanford paid as advisors during the last years of his banking scheme. (Previous story, here.)
A trial against the former Houston mayor and Clinton Administration drug czar Lee Brown is scheduled for later this year, and a trial against former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes is slated for March.
In those cases, and others to come, court-appointed receiver Paul Janvey of Dallas is demanding the defendants return fees that total tens of millions of dollars paid to them by Stanford using money stolen from clients. The receiver is suing Romero, who spent 25 years in the Foreign Service and was eventually assistant Secretary of State for the western hemisphere, repay $1.1 million in fees.
So far the trial has made for grim testimony.
“That’s right,” testified Lula Rodriguez, who had been assistant secretary of state under President Clinton, and then with Citigroup and later Stanford.
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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/