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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Clinton is urged to help victims of Stanford scandal

Sixteen members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Travis Childers of Booneville, have asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help victims of the Stanford financial scandal.

Their letter, dated Oct. 20, urges Clinton to refer the thousands of Stanford claims, totaling billions of dollars, to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.

“A referral to the FCSC will provide a forum for victims of the Stanford Ponzi scheme to obtain compensation for the massive financial losses they have suffered,” they say.

They also note that the losses include property they say was improperly seized by the Commonwealth of Antigua and Barbuda, headquarters for Stanford International Bank Ltd., which issued certificates of deposit now virtually worthless after the collapse of Stanford Financial Group in February.

That’s when SFG was accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of masterminding a Ponzi scheme.

Andy Laney, State Department spokesman, confirmed Wednesday the letter’s receipt, saying it will be reviewed “very carefully,” with a response going directly to the letter-writers.

The FCSC has jurisdiction over claims between the U.S. and foreign governments arising from differences related to property taking.

Stanford’s CEO R. Allen Stanford, Chief Investment Officer Laura Pendergest-Holt of Baldwyn, two other top executives and an Antiguan regulator are accused in the scheme. While the regulator awaits extradition, the others have pleaded not guilty and await trial.

Key witness

James M. Davis of Baldwyn, the company’s chief financial officer, has pleaded guilty to the federal charges and is expected to be the government’s key witness at trial.

Stanford had an office in Tupelo and numerous residents of the region report lost substantial savings when SFG collapsed in February with the SEC accusations.

Childers is the only Mississippi member of Congress to sign the letter.

Sens. Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Thad Cochran of Oxford, as well as Reps. Gene Taylor of Bay St. Louis and Gregg Harper of Brandon, have been active in seeking help for Stanford victims, said their spokesmen, although they didn’t receive a copy of the Clinton letter in time to sign it for delivery Wednesday.

No one from Rep. Bennie Thompson’s office returned a call for a comment

1 comment:

  1. Please members of the USA Congress, fight for the recovery of the money the investors from all parts of the world lost in this scheme. SFG directed its operations from the USA and this give the investors the confidence that everything would be checked by the SEC, but it was not. The USA should help all the investors not only the ones from the USA to recover their investments. This is the right thing to do.