|Peter Romero after a meeting with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel in |
Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 11, 1999.
A former top State Department official during the Clinton administration is set to go on trial next month on civil allegations he helped Texas financier Allen Stanford carry out his $7 billion Ponzi scheme, then destroyed possible evidence of his involvement.
Peter Romero, who is not accused of criminal wrongdoing, is a former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador and a former Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. Soon after Romero left the State Department in 2001, Stanford hired him as a consultant and appointed him to his advisory board.
But Ralph Janvey, the court-appointed receiver seeking to recover funds from the fraud, says Romero's actual role was to help Stanford attract more victims.
"He traded on his prior government service to become an ambassador for Allen Stanford," said Janvey's attorney Kevin Sadler in an email to CNBC.
Janvey sued Romero in federal court in 2011 seeking the return of nearly $1 million in compensation that Janvey says was fraudulently obtained. A one-week jury trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 9 in Dallas.
"For seven years, Romero was paid more than $100,000 per year, plus expenses, for a less than part-time job that involved almost nothing more than lending his name and credibility to Stanford's organization," Sadler said.
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