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Monday, March 10, 2014

Joint Liquidators Take Court Action

Antigua St. John's - The joint liquidators of the Stanford International Bank Ltd (SIBL) obtained authorisation from the Antiguan court to take back funds from holders of certificates of deposit (CDs).

According to a release, most of the victims are from Venezuela, other countries in Latin America, and the United States. They sent a letter asking for the return of money withdrawn from their accounts during the six months prior to the collapse of the SIBL, and demanded a response within 120 days of receipt of the letter.

COViSAL’s response can be read at:

According to the release, “families who had their life savings deposited at SIBL, were completely unaware of any problems the bank was having. There were no red flags or suspicious circumstances known to the depositors, who continued doing business with SIBL during its regular commercial operations until the bank closed its doors in 2009. It is a fact that the majority of depositors only became aware of trouble at SIBL when the SEC seized Stanford Financial Group on February 17, 2009.”

Covisal’s director said, “The withdrawals made from their savings during the six months prior to the closing of SIBL’s operations, were not ‘Preferential Payments,’ but legitimate withdrawals of part of the principal invested by the rightful owners of the money. These withdrawals were made rightfully and in good faith. Families withdrew part of their invested principal regularly to pay for living expenses, medical treatments, relatives in need, down payments, business expenses, etc.”

Families lost their livelihood in Stanford’s fraud; many sold their homes and what other assets they had left in order to survive for the past five years. The majority of depositors at SIBL are common people, families who worked very hard for 30-40 years to save money for their retirement, for a college fund for their children or grandchildren, and to have savings available for a medical emergency, among other things. Since the closing of SIBL in 2009, victims of the fraud have been living in dire straits; the Stanford fiasco destroyed their lives.

According to court records, the bank’s run might have happened the week of February 9, 2009 at the earliest.

According to the release, “If the management of SIBL permitted the redemption of CDs in the six months leading up to February 23, 2009, it was most likely their Preferred Customers who withdrew their money plus interest - unfairly prejudicial against all CD creditors and depositors at SIBL.”

The joint liquidators sent a summary of receipts and payments that shows receipts of $108.8 M as of December 31, 2013. Of this amount, $95.1 M was part of the $100 million that UK authorities confiscated following a request from the US Department of Justice on April 2009. The liquidators so far have spent $58.6 M. The release questioned, “Why are the expenses so vague and lacking in supportive evidence? What honest and transparent legal entity is providing oversight of the liquidation’s affairs? The real accomplishment of the Joint Liquidators seems to be in giving themselves ‘Preferential Payments’.”

The Open Letter from COViSAL to the Antiguan Court and the Joint Liquidators can be read here

To join the debate click here. 

For a full and open debate on the Stanford Receivership visit the Stanford International Victims Group – SIVG official forum

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