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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vitter Comments on SEC Response to Alleged Stanford Ponzi Scheme

Claims Agency Misled Committee on Timeline of Investigation

(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter today made the following comments after the U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing on a Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General’s report into the SEC’s handling of the alleged Stanford Ponzi scheme. (Click here for video of some of Vitter’s comments at the hearing.)

“I unfortunately came away from today’s hearing even more convinced that the SEC has been purposely misleading this committee about the agency’s mishandling of the Stanford case,” said Vitter. “The Inspector General’s latest report clearly showed that the SEC’s examination office had been looking into the Stanford Group since 1997 and were concerned it was a ‘possible Ponzi scheme.’ Yet, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing last August, SEC officials claimed the investigations only began in 2004.

“As if the fraud Stanford committed wasn’t bad enough, the agency’s attempts to cover up its negligence pour salt on the wound of Stanford’s victims, who have already lost much of their life savings.

“There are critical discrepancies between the IG report and the testimony we’ve heard from SEC officials, and Ms. Romero’s answers to the Senate Banking Committee raise more questions about her credibility and those who helped her prepare her testimony. I’m going to continue demanding answers and working with the Senate Banking Committee to get the answers Stanford’s victims deserve because it’s not yet clear how high up the chain the deception goes at the SEC.”

Earlier this month, Vitter wrote to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro requesting a meeting to discuss the concerns raised by the IG report and whether the SEC had in fact implemented the changes recommended in the report.

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