SEC Sues SIPC Over R. Allen Stanford Ponzi Payouts

In its latest effort to help investors that lost money in the $7 billion Stanford Financial Group Ponzi scam recoup their losses, the Securities and Exchange Commission is suing the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Both have been in disagreement over whether Stanford investors qualify for protection against SIPC rules, which are supposed to back brokerage firm client accounts against failure and cover investors for up to $500,000 in losses.

The SEC has said that this coverage should apply to Stanford investors because not only was broker-dealer Stanford Group Company a part of Stanford Financial, but also clients had to set up brokerage accounts to buy the certificate of deposits that their money was placed in. Upon purchase of their CD’s, they were given papers noting that the transaction was SIPC-covered. However, the SIPC, which is not in charge of regulating brokerage firms, contends that because clients’ money was placed in supposedly safe CDs sold by Stanford Financial, investors do not get to avail of this protection.

Now the Commission is seeking a court order that would compel the investor protection corporation to start liquidating Stanford Group Company. This filing is a key step in allowing customers to start getting their money back.

The SEC claims that it is solely authorized to decide whether SIPC should get involved. This is the first time the Commission has pulled rank to force the SIPC to take specific action. If the court grant’s the SEC’s order, SPIC plans to appeal.

Federal authorities seized Stanford Financial in 2009. R. Allen Stanford is accused of running the Ponzi scam and using the money belonging more than 21,000 clients to fund his expensive lifestyle. Investors were promised improbable interest rates that were supposedly spurred by a unique investment strategy.

This week, a hearing to determine whether R. Allen Stanford is fit to stand trial is scheduled to take place. The SEC has sued R. Allen Stanford for securities fraud and he is charged with 23 criminal counts of wrongdoing. Although he remains in federal custody, his criminal trial was delayed to allow him to go into detox for his addiction to anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants.

One of his defense attorneys claims that the medications and a traumatic brain injury that he sustained when he was beaten in jail have caused him to develop amnesia. Meantime, prosecutors are expected to argue that Stanford is pretending that he severe memory loss.

Allen Stanford’s Move to Trial or Treatment Argued in Court, SF Gate, December 20, 2011
SEC, SIPC ready to rumble over Ponzi payouts, Investment News, December 20, 2011
S.E.C. Files Suit to Recoup Losses in Stanford Case, New York TImes, December 12, 2011

More Blog Posts:

Texas Securities Fraud: Unregistered Adviser Confesses to Selling Almost $400K in Promissory Notes and Investments Despite Cease and Desist Order, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 5, 2011
Texas Securities Fraud: Raymond James Financial Services Pays Elderly Senior Investor About $1.8M Following Loss of Appeal, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 2, 2011
Former Texan and First Capital Savings and Loan To Pay $4.5M for Alleged Foreign Currency Ponzi Scheme, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 11, 2011
Our securities fraud law firm represents investors that have been bilked in Ponzi scams and other financial schemes. If you were a victim of the Stanford Ponzi scam, the Madoff Ponzi scheme, or any other financial fraud, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP today.