Addressing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Securities and Exchange Commission maintains that a lower court was wrong to deny the agency’s bid to compel the Securities Investor Protection Corporation to act on behalf of investors who were victimized by the Allen R. Stanford Ponzi scam. Thousands of investors sustained losses as a result of the scheme. Meantime, Stanford is serving 110 years behind bars for running the $7 billion scheme that involved certificate of deposit sales issued by his Stanford International Bank in Antigua.
“Stanford Securities was a Houston-based firm which sold uninsured CD’s issued by foreign firms to investors all over the world,” said Texas securities fraud attorney William Shepherd. “Its founder was tried for securities fraud in a Federal Court and was sentenced to what will be a lifetime without parole in a federal penitentiary. Little has been gotten back by investors who, unlike the victims of the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Barnard Madoff, have not been able to recover up to a maximum of $500,000 each from SIPC.”
It was last summer that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia noted the preponderance of the evidence standard and found that investors that had bought CD’s from Stanford’s Antigua bank were not, under the meaning of the Securities Investor Protection Act, “customers” of Stanford Group Co., which was Stanford’s brokerage firm in the US. Had that court ruled otherwise, SIPC would have to start liquidation proceedings for the broker-dealer and some 21,000 Stanford CD purchasers could have sought reimbursement through SIPC claims.