Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SIBL Investors Might Not See Money Any Time Soon

Former Stanford International Bank Limited (SIBL) investors might have to wait in a long line of people who will have first bite of the proceeds of the assets recovery process now underway.

This was the sentiment expressed by Attorney General Justin Simon in an interview with Fox Business, casting doubts that the investors will be repaid when assets are sold in Antigua & Barbuda.

Simon said US receiver of the SIBL Ralph Janvey was only concerned about the assets of the international bank.

“That entity is only the owner of three parcels of land. Most of the lands there are in the name of Stanford Development Company and various other entities which he formed here. In fact, on record here, he has about 23 local companies, not all of them are commercial enterprises,” the attorney general said.

“…A lot of them are simply holding land, but let me make it very abundantly clear that we do not seize lands. The constitution of Antigua & Barbuda provides that the government can compulsory acquire. It also makes provision that compensation must be paid to the former owners of the land and we intend on dealing with it on that basis.”

Despite the billions of dollars that have passed through Stanford’s hands, there are predictions that only a small fraction of that money will ever be recovered.

Whatever the amount, Simon says there will be very large claims coming in from a wide range of people, including the obvious receiver’s fee.

“Mr Stanford has left a substantial amount of debt in Antigua,” Simon said. “There are trade creditors, monies owed to our utility company, APUA in respect of electricity, telephone and that sort of thing.

“There are also the 450 employees who have been severed but severance has not yet been paid to them.”

He also said that the government was very conscious of the financial obligations left behind and it would make every effort to ensure that those various claims are satisfied in addition to the claims of various investors and depositors.

Simon said that according to law, severance payments are first and then government utilities. Creditors and former customers would then be paid in priority decided by the receivers who are recovering money and selling assets.

The value of the land being sold is also in dispute.

US investigators claimed Stanford and his accountants routinely inflated the book value to conceal the true worth of his enterprises.

After Stanford’s arrest in June this year, for his alleged involvement in a US$8 billion Ponzi scheme, investors have been claiming up to US$24 billion in damages from Antigua & Barbuda, but they are still awaiting permission from the court in the US to proceed with the suit.

Former head of the Financial Service Regulatory Commission Leroy King, who is implicated in the scheme, is currently awaiting extradition to the US to face charges.

King is accused of conducting fraudulent audits and examinations of the bank’s books in exchange for financial bribes and gifts.

He was granted bail in the amount of $500,000, with a $100,000 bond to facilitate his release. In addition to surrendering his travel documents to the court and two sureties, he has been placed on house arrest and must be accompanied by one of his sureties once he leaves his home.

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