Spencer Barasch, a former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney, will reportedly settle the civil charges filed against him by the Department of Justice by paying a $50,0000 fine. He is accused of inappropriately representing Allen Stanford, the ex-billionaire who is facing trial for masterminding a $7B Ponzi scam. Per the planned settlement, Barasch will settle the DOJ charges by paying a $50,000 fine.
It was in 2010 that SEC Inspector General David Kotz issued a report finding that while Barasch was still at the commission he played a part in decisions that were made to quell investigations of Stanford. After Barasch vacated his post at the SEC, he made several attempts to try to represent Stanford. Although the SEC refused each request, Barasch eventually ended up providing Stanford with about seven billable hours in legal counsel.
Federal conflict of interest laws permanently bar ex-government lawyers from appearing in front of or communicating with the US government in certain situations. However, to bring a criminal conflict-of-interest case prosecutors have to prove that the ex-employee contacted the government on behalf of the defendant. As there has been no evidence that this occurred in the matter of Barasch representing Stanford, this is likely why the DOJ opted to pursue a civil case.
Barasch is also expected to settle the Security and Exchange Commission’s disciplinary action against him by consenting to a 6-month ban from being able to practice in front of the commission. He will likely settle this without admitting to or denying wrongdoing.
Meantime, prosecutors are continuing to prepare their criminal case against Stanford, who allegedly bilked thousands of investors when he persuaded them to purchase CDs from his bank in Antigua. He was arrested in 2009. Stanford continues to deny the charges.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin later this month in the criminal trial against him. This week, however, two of Stanford’s lawyers asked a judge to let them quit the ex-billionaire’s case. Robert Scardino and Ali Fazel say that budget limitations are preventing them from doing their job as his defense team. A court has frozen Stanford’s assets.
In addition to the criminal case filed case against Stanford, he also faces SEC civil charges, along with Stanford International Bank (SIB), investment adviser Stanford Capital Management, investment adviser and broker-dealer Stanford Group Company (SGC), Stanford Financial Group (SFG), and two senior company officials. According to regulators, the defendants misrepresented certain CDs as safe investments. Meantime, client’s money was placed in illiquid equities and real estate instead of diversified liquid assets.
Exclusive: Ex-SEC lawyer said to settle Stanford-linked case, Chicago Tribune, January 10, 2012
Ex-SEC Enforcer Settles Stanford Ethics Dispute With U.S., Bloomberg, January 13, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Securities Fraud Lawsuit Names NRP Financial Inc. in $150M Minnesota Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 10, 2012
SEC Sues SIPC Over R. Allen Stanford Ponzi Payouts, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 20, 2011
SEC Issues Emergency Order to Stop $26M “Green” Ponzi Scam, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 13, 2011
Unfortunately, every year there are investors that suffer huge losses because they were victims of a Ponzi scam. At Shepherd Smith Edwards Kantas LTD, LLP, we are dedicated to helping investors recoup their money. Contact our stockbroker fraud law firm today.