CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Mar. 17, 2009: Investors of the now seized Stanford Financial Group are uniting to fight for the recovery of billions of dollars.
A group calling themselves the Stanford Victims Coalition, has been formed, according to a press statement sent Monday to CWNN. The group, which describes itself as an `international group of Stanford Financial Group investors` say they are seeking an immediate relief for members affected by the international asset freeze that resulted from the February 16, 2009, civil lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against three senior officials of Stanford Financial Group.
The frozen assets include $8.5 billion in certificates of deposit at Stanford International Bank in Antigua that were sold by licensed brokers of Stanford Financial Group. The SVC members say they `are especially concerned the CD investments will not be fully recovered by the receivers appointed to collect assets from the Stanford estate.
Recent statements by both US receiver, Ralph Janvey, and Vantis, the UK receiver appointed by the Antiguan regulatory group, Financial Services Regulatory Commission, have confirmed the initial suspicions that there is poor liquidity and lack of adequate capital to cover the CDs.
Janvey has already released $4.1 billion in frozen Stanford investor accounts. Only accounts linked to certain executives and employees, the bullion division, and accounts containing investments atAntiguan-based Stanford International Bank remain under the court-ordered freeze.
The SVC group has also expressed significant concern the SEC did not adequately regulate SFG, despite reports of a Ponzi scheme dating back to 1999. Both the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, who licensed the US brokers selling the CD product, have reported suspicion of fraud since 2006. SFG had previously been fined by FINRA for misleading investors about the safety of the CDs and not having enough capital in 2007 and 2008, but the company was allowed to continue selling the CDs. Investors were not alerted to the SEC investigations or the FINRA findings.
The investor coalition has also expressed concerns of political influence involved in the lack of SFG regulation.
`It has been widely reported Allen Stanford donated millions of dollars to US political campaigns and that several elected officials and their families were taken on lavish trips to Antigua on Stanford’s private jet,` said the statement. `It appears these donations and luxurious trips were aimed at gaining political influence so Stanford’s offshore operations could continue without disruption by US regulations.`
US Congressman Dennis Kucinich and the New York Times have recently brought to light an order the SEC was given to “stand down” from investigations of Stanford in 2006.
The SVC group says it supports Kucinich’s request for an investigation into this order and any other political influence that was used to allow Stanford to grow his international operations without interference.
And they say they plan to ask Antiguan officials who have seized Stanford’s assets located on their island to either purchase those assets or return them to the receivers to include in the estate that will be used to refund investors.
Additionally, the coalition members say they feel the FSRC, the Antiguan government appointed bank regulator, did not adequately oversee SIB’s operations, which eventually led to its insolvency.
`It appears the FSRC allowed SIB to operate freely without hindrance of any regulatory oversight,` said the group. `SVC holds the FSRC and the Antiguan government partly responsible for any investment losses. SVC claims all governing bodies involved in the growth and eventual downfall of SFG and SIB, were guilty of not enforcing critical regulatory practices to protect investors. This includes the SEC, FINRA and FSRC, and the coalition seeks to pursue these claims in the event the appointed receivers are unable to recover assets sufficient to recover all CD investments.`
Stanford investors who wish to join SVC can visit www.stanfordvictimscoalition.com.