Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010


February 16, 2010 (Dallas) ‐ On the one‐year anniversary of the commencement of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement action against Allen Stanford and the top management of his global empire of financial companies, the victims of the $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme filed a class‐action lawsuit against the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), five Caribbean financial institutions, and the
government of Antigua and Barbuda. The lawsuit, filed by Morgenstern & Blue, LLC, seeks compensation for ECCB’s unlawful seizure last year of the Bank of Antigua, a crown jewel in Allen Stanford’s fallen financial empire.

“Instead of acting as a legitimate central bank, the ECCB became a partner in crime with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda when it seized the Bank of Antigua, a viable and valuable financial institution,” said attorney Peter D. Morgenstern. “The Bank of Antigua was, and remains, enormously valuable. All of that value rightfully belongs to Mr. Stanford’s victims.”

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court in Dallas, Texas, at the time of ECCB’s seizure of the Bank of Antigua, the bank had considerable value, including undisputed loan receivables from the government of Antigua and Barbuda worth at least tens of millions of dollars and possibly more. The complaint alleges the victims are entitled to compensation for the value of the Bank of Antigua when it was seized, determined by an independent auditing firm, as required under the ECCB’s governing treaty. Instead, equity ownership of the bank was distributed by the ECCB to Antigua itself and five bank defendants for little or no compensation. The financial institutions that took ownership of the Bank of Antigua are Antigua Commercial Bank, St. Kitts‐Nevis‐Anguilla National Bank Ltd., Eastern Caribbean Financial Holdings Company Ltd., National Commercial Bank (SVG) Ltd., and National Bank of Dominica Ltd.

“This action seeks redress for a second brazen act of thievery from Stanford investors, perpetrated in part even after the disclosure of the Stanford fraud in February 2009, and the appointment of receivers to marshal and distribute Stanford’s assets, in the United States and Antigua. This theft was perpetrated not
only by Stanford, but also by the Bank of Antigua’s putative regulator, ECCB, the government of Antigua, and by all too willing co‐conspirators at Caribbean‐based financial institutions which, unless this Court acts, will have obtained a multi‐million dollar windfall at the expense of Stanford’s many victims,” said Morgenstern.

In an effort to build awareness about the corruption deeply rooted in the Antiguan government that led to actions like the expropriation of 49 Stanford‐owned properties, including the Bank of Antigua, that belong to investors, the Stanford Victims Coalition (SVC), an international advocacy group for victims of the Stanford fraud, announced the launch of an international campaign to boycott Antigua and Barbuda.

The SVC campaign titled “Anti‐Crime, Anti‐Antigua,” calls on travel professionals, prospective tourists, and investors from around the world to send a clear message to the government of Antigua and Barbuda by boycotting Antiguan hotels and resorts, cruises to Antigua, investments in Antiguan financial institutions or in companies or ventures based in Antigua. The SVC, through its thousands of members, plans to increase its lobbying efforts with the United States government to build awareness of Antigua’s actions against U.S. citizens as well as citizens from over 130 countries. The comprehensive “Anti‐ Antigua” campaign includes plans to contact travel agents, trade publications, and attend travel trade shows, and will seek out professionals in the travel industry to partner with to garner support and promote justice for victims of corrupt governments like Antigua, which relies heavily on tourism and investments from the United States, Great Britain, and other home countries of Stanford victims, yet portrays itself as a friendly vacation paradise. The SVC’s “Anti‐Antigua” effort will work to create awareness that Antigua was Stanford’s co‐conspirator in crime, and has enriched itself at the expense of thousands of innocent people whose life savings were lost in the unprecedented Stanford fraud.

“Antigua was the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars of Stanford investors’ money, through loans, bribes and flamboyant philanthropic gestures made by Allen Stanford with money stolen from investors,” said Angela Shaw, SVC founder and executive director. “Instead of acting with integrity and working toward efforts to help compensate the victims of this fraud, their government not only enabled, but profited from, Antigua continues to refuse to answer for its complicity in Stanford’s crimes, pay back the illegal loans it received, or return valuable real estate assets that it expropriated last year.”

“Developers, travel agents and tourists are urged to recommend and choose vacation destinations and investments in countries that respect the rights of foreign citizens and respect the rule of law,” Shaw said. “The SVC’s message to those groups is that Antigua has a long history of corruption and it has stolen property from 28,000 investors from around the world. Of all the vacation destinations in the world, Antigua should be at the very bottom of the list of places to visit.”

In a blatant act of disrespect toward Stanford’s many victims around the world – especially the citizens of Venezuela, the country with the largest number of victims of the Stanford fraud – Antigua recently partnered with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who provided Antigua with $50 million of financing. Antigua also continues to actively seek financial assistance from the international community through requests for IMF and World Bank loans, as well as direct aid from governments in countries that are home to Stanford’s victims.

The SVC recently lobbied the U.S. government to help block aid to Antigua, an effort that resulted in the introduction of a United States Senate Resolution in December 2009, which was led by Senator Richard Shelby (R‐Alabama), ranking Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee, and cosponsored by eight senators. In remarks introducing the Resolution, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Johnny Isakson (R‐Georgia), said, “Allen Stanford bilked billions of dollars from innocent Americans through his Ponzi scheme, and the laws of Antigua shielded the Stanford Financial Group while it operated.”

“It is absurd that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is standing in the way of helping victims,” said
Senator Shelby. “The United States will not accept such behavior.”


  1. Little do people realize that the people of Antigua were cheated out of their money as well. Allen Stanford came to the island and set up Bank of Antigua, my entire family put our savings in that bank which was not the investment bank into which the American victims placed their monies. This bank dealt with paychecks, savings, college funds, everything that your comparable Bank of America would handle. When Stanford went down ALL the banks went down, the people of Antigua are not running around living it up on the lost savings of the American victims of this scandal, they are just as devastated. Stanford used the money from his ponzi scheme to lure more investors in with extravagant parties, trips, houses, boats, he even built himself an island off the coast. He destroyed the ecosystem in the process, his giant, empty edifices are incomplete eyesores that take up valuable land on a small island of roughly 100 square miles, and good people have lost their entire lives. I am not talking about old people and their savings, I am talking about every single person with a bank account. All of a sudden you wake up one morning and everything you own is gone, no warning. That is what happened to us as a nation. Ultimate devastation.
    Stanford came to Antigua with a plethora of promises and grand ideas, he got the backing of our corrupt government through bribes and offers, yes, but what nation doesn't have a blatantly corrupt government?? Madoff got away with a bigger scheme in the US and I don't see an uproar to boycott New York.
    Boycotting Antigua makes no sense, the only industry the entire island of 80k+ relies on is TOURISM. Who are you trying to hurt? Poor people who live on an isolated island in the Caribbean? Will it make you feel better that you are asking people to help you destroy a nation of people hurting just as badly as you are?
    I understand that the people calling for a boycott of Antigua are hurt and advocating the victims of Stanford's horrible crime, but the Antiguan people are victims too. We should unite and stand by each other. The Americans should not write us off as weasels rolling around in their money when we have lost everything as well.

  2. Stanford Investor Coaliton, when you invest in high risk items the risk is high.
    Oh and when you don't pay taxes its called Tax Evasion which in the US is illegal.