Case of former FSRC head Leroy King to put back on the front burner

King-1

A high ranking court official yesterday confirmed that the authorities are taking steps to list the matter of the former head of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), Leroy King, for hearing in the High Court “as soon as possible” as the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) continues to make enquiries about the status of King’s extradition process.

The matter has been stalled in the system for nearly four years since King filed his last challenge against the decision of the Minister of External Affairs, former prime minister Baldwin Spencer to sign the warrant to return him to the US to face charges linked to the R Allen Stanford US $7 billion Ponzi Scheme.

High Court Registrar Cecile Hill said the delay in the matter wasn’t a deliberate act, but there were challenges that had to be addressed……………..

To view the full article, click Here.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official Forum http://sivg.org.ag/



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THE DERAILMENT OF THE SEC – PART V: WHY A RESPECTED LAW FIRM ALLEGEDLY RISKED BREAKING THE LAW BY REPRESENTING A ROGUE BILLIONAIRE BANKER

R. Allen Stanford—the billionaire fraudster and cricket enthusiast—with some cricket players in 2008. Photo by Brian Smith/Corbis Outline

R. Allen Stanford—the billionaire fraudster and cricket enthusiast—with some cricket players in 2008. Photo by Brian Smith/Corbis Outline

A former Securities and Exchange Commission official and his law firm sought millions of dollars in new legal business in 2006 from financier R. Allen Stanford—during the same period of time the law firm had agreed to defend Stanford before the SEC, despite warnings from the SEC’s ethics counsel that any such representation would be illegal.

Stanford lavished lucrative legal business on former SEC enforcement officer Spencer C. Barasch and the Houston law firm of Andrews Kurth, where Barasch is a partner, to persuade them to defend him before the SEC. Initially, in 2005, Barasch and Andrews Kurth turned Stanford down when he asked them to represent him before the SEC, telling him that to do so would violate federal conflict-of-interest laws. In 2006, however, Barasch ignored the legal prohibition and agreed to do so anyway.
Confidential Andrews Kurth billing records show that in 2006, while Stanford was pressing Barasch and Andrews Kurth to defend him before the SEC, Stanford hired the law firm to represent him on seven other legal matters, adding an eighth in 2007. In addition, according to a former Andrews Kurth employee, Barasch told his fellow partners that they stood to earn as much as $2 million a year for defending Stanford before the SEC. Previously, Stanford had been only a relatively modest client for the law firm. Barasch and Andrews Kurth declined to comment for this story.

As the former chief enforcement officer of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, Barasch had overseen the agency’s monitoring of Stanford’s bank and brokerages. Between 1998 and 2005, Barasch had personally quashed six separate investigations of Stanford, according to government records. Officials at the SEC finally approved its first formal investigation of Stanford exactly one day after Barasch left the agency; examiners whom Barasch had stymied for years acted knowing they might succeed once he was gone. In 2009, the SEC and Justice Department would charge Stanford with masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, the second-largest in American history.

It was because of Barasch’s Stanford-related work at the SEC that Stanford wanted to hire Barasch so badly, according to interviews and records. Barasch had inside information on what had worked in the past to persuade his colleagues to shut down earlier investigations of Stanford. Barasch even boasted to one of Stanford’s top deputies about his access and influence with former colleagues he might be able to persuade once again, now from the outside, not to investigate the billionaire financier. Stanford was determined to do whatever he could to get Barasch “on board asap,” he wrote in an email to two of his deputies.

The 2006 SEC investigation would go on to reveal that Stanford’s international banking empire was one built on a foundation of financial fraud, deception, and bribery. It would take more than a decade after SEC examiners first uncovered evidence that he was engaged in a Ponzi scheme for Stanford to face criminal charges brought by a federal grand jury and the SEC. Stanford would be convicted by a federal jury in June 2012 and sentenced to a 110-year term in federal prison.

The new information in this story—that Stanford awarded Andrews Kurth with eight new legal representations while trying to persuade them to defend him before the SEC—provides the first explanation of why Barasch and Andrews Kurth would risk violating the law—and the consequences of doing so. A former employee of the firm told me that the prospect of lucrative legal work played a role in persuading some of the firm’s partners to ignore the law, and Andrews Kurth’s billing records, confidential emails, and other documents appear to partially confirm this.

Read the Full Article here:

For a full and open debate on the Stanford receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official Forum http://sivg.org.ag/

THE DERAILMENT OF THE SEC – PART V: WHY A RESPECTED LAW FIRM ALLEGEDLY RISKED BREAKING THE LAW BY REPRESENTING A ROGUE BILLIONAIRE BANKER

By Murray Waas

R. Allen Stanford—the billionaire fraudster and cricket enthusiast—with some cricket players in 2008. Photo by Brian Smith/Corbis Outline

R. Allen Stanford—the billionaire fraudster and cricket enthusiast—with some cricket players in 2008. Photo by Brian Smith/Corbis Outline

 

A former Securities and Exchange Commission official and his law firm sought millions of dollars in new legal business in 2006 from financier R. Allen Stanford—during the same period of time the law firm had agreed to defend Stanford before the SEC, despite warnings from the SEC’s ethics counsel that any such representation would be illegal.

 

Stanford lavished lucrative legal business on former SEC enforcement officer Spencer C. Barasch and the Houston law firm of Andrews Kurth, where Barasch is a partner, to persuade them to defend him before the SEC. Initially, in 2005, Barasch and Andrews Kurth turned Stanford down when he asked them to represent him before the SEC, telling him that to do so would violate federal conflict-of-interest laws. In 2006, however, Barasch ignored the legal prohibition and agreed to do so anyway.

Confidential Andrews Kurth billing records show that in 2006, while Stanford was pressing Barasch and Andrews Kurth to defend him before the SEC, Stanford hired the law firm to represent him on seven other legal matters, adding an eighth in 2007. In addition, according to a former Andrews Kurth employee, Barasch told his fellow partners that they stood to earn as much as $2 million a year for defending Stanford before the SEC. Previously, Stanford had been only a relatively modest client for the law firm. Barasch and Andrews Kurth declined to comment for this story.

As the former chief enforcement officer of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, Barasch had overseen the agency’s monitoring of Stanford’s bank and brokerages. Between 1998 and 2005, Barasch had personally quashed six separate investigations of Stanford, according to government records. Officials at the SEC finally approved its first formal investigation of Stanford exactly one day after Barasch left the agency; examiners whom Barasch had stymied for years acted knowing they might succeed once he was gone. In 2009, the SEC and Justice Department would charge Stanford with masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, the second-largest in American history.

It was because of Barasch’s Stanford-related work at the SEC that Stanford wanted to hire Barasch so badly, according to interviews and records. Barasch had inside information on what had worked in the past to persuade his colleagues to shut down earlier investigations of Stanford. Barasch even boasted to one of Stanford’s top deputies about his access and influence with former colleagues he might be able to persuade once again, now from the outside, not to investigate the billionaire financier. Stanford was determined to do whatever he could to get Barasch “on board asap,” he wrote in an email to two of his deputies.

The 2006 SEC investigation would go on to reveal that Stanford’s international banking empire was one built on a foundation of financial fraud, deception, and bribery. It would take more than a decade after SEC examiners first uncovered evidence that he was engaged in a Ponzi scheme for Stanford to face criminal charges brought by a federal grand jury and the SEC. Stanford would be convicted by a federal jury in June 2012 and sentenced to a 110-year term in federal prison.

The new information in this story—that Stanford awarded Andrews Kurth with eight new legal representations while trying to persuade them to defend him before the SEC—provides the first explanation of why Barasch and Andrews Kurth would risk violating the law—and the consequences of doing so. A former employee of the firm told me that the prospect of lucrative legal work played a role in persuading some of the firm’s partners to ignore the law, and Andrews Kurth’s billing records, confidential emails, and other documents appear to partially confirm this.

The Full Article can be read here.

For a full and open debate on the Stanford receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official Forum http://sivg.org.ag/

 

 

Stanford Investors Sue Antigua, Caribbean Central Bank

By Laurel Brubaker Calkins (Bloomberg)

R. Allen Stanford’s receiver and investors’ committee sued Antigua, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and 23 former Stanford Financial Group Co. executives over allegations they aided the financier’s $7 billion fraud.

The Official Stanford Investors Committee seeks repayment of at least $90 million in documented loans Stanford made to the dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda and accuses its elected officials of having been “Stanford’s partners in crime.” The nation’s leaders shielded Stanford’s scheme and traded choice real estate for as much as $230 million in loans that haven’t been repaid, according to the lawsuit.

“Antigua knowingly provided necessary assistance to Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scheme and, in exchange, received millions of dollars in loans whose repayment terms Stanford did not enforce,’’ the committee said in a complaint filed in Dallas federal court on Feb. 15. “For well over a decade, Antigua was a prime participant in, and beneficiary of, the Stanford Ponzi scheme, and actively protected and shielded Stanford’s criminal enterprise from real regulatory scrutiny.’’

Stanford, 62, was convicted in March of masterminding a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors through the sale of bogus certificates of deposit at his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. He is serving a 110-year sentence in a Florida federal prison as he appeals his verdict and sentence.

Falsified Audits

Evidence at Stanford’s trial showed he bribed Antiguan banking regulator Leroy King to falsify audits certifying the bank’s investment returns and mislead U.S. securities regulators investigating the former Texas billionaire’s operations. Stanford was also allowed to underwrite and participate in banking reform legislation that Antigua claimed had cleaned up its corrupt offshore banking industry, according to trial evidence. Antigua has so far failed to extradite King to face criminal charges in the U.S.

The investors on Feb. 15 separately sued the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which nationalized Stanford’s other island financial institution, the Bank of Antigua, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seized Stanford’s enterprise on suspicion of fraud in February 2009.

The ECCB in turn parceled out ownership in the bank to the government of Antigua and to other Caribbean banks in what the investors called “a second act of brazen thievery.” The head of ECCB’s monetary council at the time was Antiguan Minister of Finance Errol Cort, who was both King’s supervisor and one of Stanford’s personal attorneys, according to court papers.

‘Rightful Owners’

“The considerable value of the Bank of Antigua, believed to be in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, should be distributed as compensation to its rightful owners, Stanford’s victims and creditors,’’ the committee said in court papers.

Recent comments by Antiguan elected officials indicate the country intends to repay the bank instead of the defrauded investors, Peter D. Morgenstern, a lawyer for the investors’ committee, wrote, meaning that “in essence, Antigua intends to use CD investors’ money to pay itself.’’

Tom Bayko, Antigua’s attorney, didn’t immediately respond to voice or e-mail messages seeking comment on the lawsuit. In an earlier suit, Bayko said Antigua was protected from such litigation by foreign sovereign immunity.

Officials at the ECCB didn’t immediately return telephone or e-mail messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Ralph Janvey, Stanford’s court-appointed receiver, filed another lawsuit on Feb. 15 claiming breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit by 23 former directors and officers of Stanford’s operations, including three executives convicted of furthering the fraud scheme. The suit seeks return of all compensation from these individuals, some of whom have been previously sued by the receiver on similar claims.

“Many directors and officers simply looked the other way, while others actively assisted Stanford in defrauding thousands of people out of billions of dollars,’’ Kevin Sadler, Janvey’s lead lawyer, said in the filing in Dallas federal court. They “put their continued employment and substantial compensation ahead of the best interests of the entities they were hired to serve,” he said.

The cases are The Official Stanford Investors Committee v. Antigua and Barbuda, 3:13-cv-0760; The Official Stanford Investors Committee v. Bank of Antigua, 3:13-cv-0762; Janvey v. Alvarado, 3:13-cv-0775. All are in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit:

http://sivg.org.ag/ 

The Stanford International Victims Group Forum



Allen Stanford: From Billionaire to Inmate


The case of Allen Stanford, a former billionaire who once allegedly sealed a deal with blood and is currently serving a 110-year federal prison sentence, could soon be back in the headlines. A federal judge ruled last month that investors could proceed with a lawsuit that alleges the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was negligent in its handling of the fraud.

 Texas-born Robert Allen Stanford exuded wealth. At his height in 2008, he was one of the richest men in America, listed on the Forbes 400, and worth an estimated $2.2 billion.

He defined conspicuous consumption. In one three year period alone, he spent $100 million on aircraft, which included helicopters and private Lear Jets. He even spent $12 million lengthening his yacht by just 6 feet.
As it happened, however, Stanford indulged in these perks with ill-gotten gains. In early 2009, the scale and scope of Stanford’s extravagances finally caught up to him.
Stanford was eventually convicted of selling fraudulent certificates of deposit from his offshore bank on the island of Antigua in an international $7 billion Ponzi scheme, a case that drew comparisons to disgraced broker Bernie Madoff‘s multibillion dollar fraud. To date, none of the more than 20,000 investors he bilked have recovered any money.
In their lawsuit, the investors claim that on four instances and as early as 1997, the SEC determined that Stanford was running a Ponzi scheme. Still, the agency did not act accordingly and failed to notify the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Investigators did not bring charges against Stanford until 2009, in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The government moved to dismiss the case, but U.S. District Judge Robert Scola rejected the motion. He ruled that if the SEC knew Stanford was running a Ponzi scheme as alleged by plaintiffs, the agency was obligated to report it. Scola added that the government could argue that it did not know Stanford was running a fraud if and when the case moved to summary judgment.
SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment to “American Greed.” Nonetheless, the attorney for the investors, Gaytri Kachroo, said the ruling was significant. “It truly provides the investing public a precedent and therefore the hope that a case against the SEC can succeed if meritorious under the law,” the lawyer said.

 A Conman’s Bogus Empire of Epic Proportions
Beyond fancy toys, Stanford bought a small island for $63 million. He owned mansions in Houston, Antigua, and St. Croix. And in Coral Gables, Fla. an enormous 18,000 square foot castle. It was fit for a king: the property included 57 rooms, a tower and a moat. Yet after just one year of living there, he grew tired of the sprawling estate – moving out and having it demolished.

He also loved the game of cricket. By 2008, he was considered the world’s number one promoter of the sport, even offering up a $20 million cash prize, the largest ever for a team sporting event, for a match in London.

Yet according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Stanford was not playing with honest money. He got it by siphoning off loans to himself, approximately $2.2 billion from depositor’s CD holdings, without ever revealing these loans to investors.

From Brash Texan to Big Money Banker
Stanford grew up in a small town 90 miles south of Dallas. Much like his home-state, everything about the man was Texas-sized.

Doug Birdsong, who used to workout with Stanford, recalled him as a muscular man, standing 6’5″ and weighing about 330 pounds. “He was the biggest, he was the best, and he was the boss,” Birdsong told “American Greed.”

His early business ventures ended in failure. After losing a string of health clubs to bankruptcy in 1982 and racking up $13 million in personal debt, Stanford took a few more stabs at entrepreneurship before heading to the Caribbean, where he first entered banking.
He founded “Stanford International Bank” in 1991 on Antigua. It was there that he laid the foundation of his empire, becoming the island’s largest employer.
He targeted wealthy Latin Americans worried about the stability of their governments, and it worked. Within three years, the bank’s assets skyrocketed to $350 million.

One year later, he moved into the U.S. market, establishing Stanford Financial Group in Houston. The company became known for selling certificate of deposits (CDs). Synonymous with safety, CDs seemed like a smart choice for potential buyers. As Stanford’s investors piled into these instruments, in less than a decade the group grew to $3 billion.

Unwitting investors, however, had no idea that Stanford’s CDs were anything but safe.

A Scam from the Start

Yet suspicions rose in 2005 when SEC investigators began taking a hard look at Stanford Financial Group, specifically his Certificates of Deposit from Antigua. Three years later, when two whistleblowers came forward, the agency was handed hard proof of Stanford’s fraud.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Pelletier got the case from the SEC. He landed a huge break when Jim Davis – Stanford’s right-hand man since the 1980’s and the company’s chief financial officer – agreed to talk in exchange for a reduced sentence.
Davis confessed that from his first day on the job, the company simply made up numbers and cooked the books. “That’s what his job was as CFO, and he continued to do that from 1987 or ’88 all the way until 2009,” Pelletier said.

When they first started the business, Davis said Stanford could do whatever he wanted on Antigua. He had the island’s chief banking regulator in his back pocket. In a bizarre twist, the two even sealed a bribery scheme deal by becoming “blood brothers,” cutting their fingers to mix their blood, according to Davis.

A decade-and-a-half after Stanford Financial Group first opened its Houston headquarters, the SEC shut its U.S. operations down. In June 2009, Stanford was mired in charges of fraud, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Throughout his trial, however, the former high-flying billionaire steadfastly maintained his innocence. He attempted to put the blame on Davis, but a jury did not buy his story. This March, he was found guilty on 13 counts, and later sentenced to more than a century in prison.

Investors Devastated by Economic Homicide
Many of the investors at the sentencing were satisfied, with Sandra Dorrell being one of them.
In 2005, after selling off an office furniture business, she invested her money in the Stanford Group’s CDs. A single mother who was battling a rare, life-threatening condition called Caroli’s disease, she had planned to use her investment to give her peace of mind and financial security as she endured medical treatment.
Instead, she lost every penny.
“To lose $1.3 million to someone that absolutely stole the money from me is just horrific,” Dorrell told CNBC’s “American Greed.”
Fellow investor Cassie Wilkinson, who along with her husband lost six-figures to Stanford’s treachery, agreed.
“The sentencing for crimes like this has become so big and so long that they’re comparing it to economic homicide, and really, that’s what it is,” she said. “Someone murdered the life that I knew, that I worked hard for. We were not born with money; we earned every single penny,” Wilkinson added.
For 62-year-old Stanford, a projected release date of 2105 is a life sentence -one that he deserves, according to many of his victims.

King wants review of PM’s extradition warrant

By Martina Johnson – Wednesday, April 4th, 2012.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has issued a warrant
ordering the extradition of the former Financial Services Regulatory
Commission (FSRC) boss Leroy King to face trial in the US on several charges related to the Allen Stanford US $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

However, King’s lawyer has filed a constitutional motion in the High Court,
seeking a declaration that certain aspects of the Extradition Act are
discriminatory and asking for judicial review of the Prime Minister’s
decision, among other things.

The parties named in the motion are Attorney General Justin Simon, QC and
Spencer.

In the latest challenge, the lawyer noted that sections 12 and 13 of the Act deprive King of the opportunity to appeal a High Court ruling which ordered his committal to be delivered to the US.

About two weeks ago, the Court of Appeal struck down an application to
appeal the order. The decision of the appeal justices hinged on the
aforementioned sections of the Act.

Another point made in the motion is that any warrant issued by the PM should have been deemed “invalid and unlawful and of no effect so far as it
violates King’s right to the protection of the law.”

King’s lawyer has asked the court to give an ear to the claim for constitutional redress simultaneously with his application for judicial
review of the prime minister’s decision.

Lastly, the attorney will be seeking, “a conservatory order staying all
extradition proceedings in respect of (King) until the determination of
(the) motion .”

Should King succeed in his legal challenges, he wants to be awarded legal
costs.

This is King’s fourth attempt to bar his extradition since he first appeared in the magistrates’ court three years ago.

The US government indicted King on over 20 charges alleging wire, mail and
securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, among others.

However, the local courts committed him for trial on 11 of those counts.