Financial adviser responds to claims

TUPELO – Former financial adviser Neal Clement of Saltillo wants to force arbitration and stop a civil lawsuit against him by a Tupelo man who lost his life savings in the Stanford scandal.
Clement also claims Burt L. “Walt” Walton’s lawsuit against him is improper because a Texas federal court order prohibits legal action against Stanford officials or employees for anything arising from the securities fraud case.
Walton sued Clement in July, saying as his investment adviser with Stanford Group Co., Clement should have warned him to cash in his $430,183 investment in certificates of deposit with Stanford International Bank Ltd., as problems emerged with the international company.
Clement worked out of Stanford’s Tupelo office, now closed by a court-ordered receiver when the Securities & Exchange Commission froze its assets. Thousands of investors lost some $7 billion in an alleged Ponzi scheme.
Criminal and civil charges are pending against Stanford executives. Clement is not a defendant in those cases.
Clement’s chancery court filings say Walton is bound by arbitration agreements he signed when he opened his account.
Clement asks the court to stop proceedings until he can get copies of those agreements, in the hands of the receiver in Texas.
He also asks that if the Lee County venue is deemed proper, for the court to halt proceedings pending the outcome of the federal civil case in Dallas.
“It is clear that (Walton) is seeking assets that the receiver contends are the property of the receivership estate,” Clement’s motion to dismiss notes, saying Walton needed permission from the Texas court to file the lawsuit and did not.
He also insists the case does not belong in Lee County, but in the U.S. District Court of Northern Texas.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfied/NEMS Daily Journal