Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Stanford Receiver Faults Home Sale by Financier’s Ex-Girlfriend

R. Allen Stanford’s court-appointed receiver asked a judge to sanction a Florida woman, who uses the Texas financier’s name and has two out-of-wedlock children by him, for selling a mansion the receiver hoped to seize to repay investors.

Stanford receiver Ralph Janvey said he wants U.S. District Judge David Godbey to find Rebecca Reeves-Stanford and her Florida attorneys in contempt for selling a $3 million house in May, after she learned Stanford’s assets were being sought to repay investors allegedly swindled in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Reeves-Stanford, a resident of Key Biscayne, near Miami, is “one of several ‘outside wives’ with whom Stanford had an ongoing relationship” for “nearly two decades,” Kevin Sadler, Janvey’s attorney, said in court papers filed yesterday in federal court in Dallas.

Reeves-Stanford’s newest lawyer, Bradford M. Cohen of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said Janvey won’t succeed in having his client or her previous attorneys found in contempt.

“The freeze order affects third parties who received something without consideration, and Rebecca Reeves-Stanford never received anything without consideration,” Cohen said in a phone interview. “She has two children by Allen Stanford.”

Cohen also said the house was in Reeves-Stanford’s name before she sold it.

2005 Purchase

Sadler said Reeves-Stanford’s attorney confirmed that Stanford paid $1.4 million of the Florida property’s 2005 purchase price.

“Indeed, the amount is likely far higher as Reeves- Stanford has no other apparent means of support beyond the ill- gotten funds Stanford lavished on her,” Sadler said in the filing. He also claimed Reeves-Stanford transferred the sale proceeds to an offshore account in the Cook Islands, in an attempt to keep the money out of Janvey’s hands.

Janvey, a Dallas securities lawyer, has been marshalling Stanford’s corporate and personal assets since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued the financier on Feb. 17. The SEC accuses Stanford of diverting as much as $1.6 billion from bogus certificates of deposit sold by Antigua- based Stanford International Bank Ltd. to fund a lifestyle that included multiple homes, a fleet of jets, a yacht and a private Caribbean island.

205th-Richest American

Stanford, who was ranked the 205th-richest American in 2008 by Forbes magazine, denies all wrongdoing and has been in jail without bond since he was arrested at the home of his fiancée, Andrea Stoelker, on June 18. He faces 21 criminal counts that mirror the SEC claims and may spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.

Stanford and Stoelker moved into a rented high-rise condominium in Houston’s museum district in April, after they were locked out of his apartments in Houston, Miami, Antigua and St. Croix by the February court order freezing his assets. A friend prepaid the $36,000 annual rent on the unit, which is located near the offices of Stanford’s Houston lawyer.

The receiver also has made property claims against Stanford’s estranged wife, Susan.

This month, Janvey asked Godbey to find Susan Stanford and the couple’s 26-year-old daughter, Randi, in contempt for refusing to cooperate with efforts to sell the $1.3 million Houston condominium that has been the daughter’s residence for several years. Janvey asked Godbey’s permission to evict the women immediately, although he had previously offered to let them live in the 2,803-square-foot unit in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood until it was sold.

Randi Stanford

Randi Stanford’s lawyer yesterday submitted a copy of the initial check for $20,000 she claims to have used to buy the condominium in 2006, as part of a filing urging the judge to reject Janvey’s request to evict her.

Janvey also listed Susan Stanford’s residence, a $2.4 million, 7,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style mansion in Houston’s Tanglewood neighborhood, as one of the properties he hopes to sell to repay defrauded investors.

Susan Stanford, Allen’s wife of more than 33 years, began divorce proceedings in November 2007. The couple has been separated for 10 years, according to Bucky Allshouse, Stanford’s Texas divorce lawyer. She has offered to testify against him in the SEC case, and in February filed court papers indicating the former billionaire was already $250,000 in arrears on her $100,000 monthly court-ordered support payments.

Six Children

Allen Stanford told Bloomberg News in April that he has six children, ranging in age from 12 to 26 years old. At least four of these children, accompanied by their mothers, attended his June 25 arraignment in Houston federal court.

Stanford’s extended family crowded into two rows at the front of the courtroom gallery that day, where Stanford occasionally flashed the children a smile or a thumbs-up gesture. The ex-girlfriends greeted one another cordially, and the children exchanged hugs with one another and with Stanford’s 31-year-old fiancée, Andrea.

Louise Sage-Stanford, who said in a March 2008 Florida paternity filing that Allen Stanford paid more than $850,000 a year in housing, food and education costs for their two children, was among the extended family members attending his June arraignment. Sage-Stanford and her two children have since moved to Houston, where they’ve rented a condominium in the same building as Stanford and his fiancée, according to court papers.

Two Previous Lawyers

Janvey is asking that Reeves-Stanford’s two previous lawyers -- Melida Viera and John Priovolos, both of Miami -- be held in contempt for allegedly facilitating her sale of the property and movement of the proceeds to an offshore account. Priovolos declined to comment. Viera couldn’t be reached for comment after regular business hours yesterday.

Kevin Callahan, an SEC spokesman, and Stanford’s criminal- defense lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, declined to comment on Janvey’s filing.

The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank, 09cv298, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). The criminal case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09cr342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

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