Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stanford Deputy Sought to Falsify Returns, Witness Says

By Laurel Calkins

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) –- Laura Pendergest Holt, former chief investment officer of Stanford International Bank Ltd., asked a company research analyst to change negative investment returns to positive ones that could be given to bank owner R. Allen Stanford, the analyst said.

Mark Collinsworth, who then worked for Stanford Financial Group Co., testified today in Houston federal court that Holt made the request in March 2008 after showing him an e-mail she said she received from Stanford. The financier was requesting performance results for part of the bank’s investment portfolio.

“She showed me the e-mail on her iPhone and said, ‘I’m going to forward this to you but I want you to make the numbers positive,’” Collinsworth, a government witness, said during cross-examination in the second week of Stanford’s $7 billion criminal fraud trial.

“I thought, surely she wouldn’t ask me to change negative numbers to positive numbers,” he said. Collinsworth said he refused to make the changes and didn’t know if Stanford was presented the correct investment results at a meeting the next day. “I was not going to lie to the owner of the company,” Collinsworth said of why he sat silently at the meeting with Stanford and was relieved not to be called upon.

Stanford, 61, who was indicted in June 2009, is charged with 14 counts including mail fraud, wire fraud and obstruction of an SEC probe. He denies the charges.

The case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09-cr-342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

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