Stanford case draws new attorneys, new lawsuit

A public defender has been appointed to represent former billionaire financier Allen Stanford, while in Washington former investors asked Congress for help in recovering their lost money.
And in a San Antonio, Texas, circuit court, 97 former investors sought more than $300 million in actual and punitive damages from insurance brokers, a trust company and some individual employees accused of convincing them their Stanford CD investments were safe.
Stanford, a Texas native, and three executives of Stanford Financial Group, including Laura Pendergest-Holt of Baldwyn, await a trial date under a 21-count federal indictment that they masterminded a $7 billion Ponzi scheme upon some 30,000 investors.

Regulator accused
A fourth, an Antiguan regulator, is accused of involvement but hasn’t answered charges in the U.S.
James M. Davis of Baldwyn, a fifth defendant who has been cooperating with investigators, recently pleaded guilty to his part in the 21-year scheme as Stanford’s chief financial officer. He faces 30 years in prison and agreed to forfeit $1 billion.
In February, a court-appointed receiver froze their personal and company assets after the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission sued.
Tuesday, Houston federal Judge David Hittner appointed Stanford counsel from the Federal Public Defender’s Office, with likely help to come from private defense attorney Kent Schaffer.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Stanford told Hittner he didn’t know if he had any money.
Stanford fell out with his first attorney, Dick DeGuerin, who complained he hadn’t been paid.
Several defendants have asked Hittner either to stop proceedings against them or order Lloyd’s of London to pay their lawyers. SFG took out a $5 million Lloyd’s policy for legal expenses by executives.
Holt’s attorney told the judge his firm has reviewed more than 250,000 documents and incurred $60,000 in copying costs alone.
Monday, the San Antonio law firm Pulman, Cappucio, Pullen & Benson filed a state court lawsuit for 97 former investors of Stanford International Bank Ltd. They want $80 million in actual damages and $237 million in punitive damages against businesses they claim reassured them their investments were safe.
The 78-page filing shows Pulman’s clients reside from Texas and Florida to Venezuela and Mexico. None is from Mississippi.
News reports out of Louisiana say a group of investors, allegedly defrauded by Stanford, is in Washington, D.C., through Friday meeting with members of Congress in hopes they can help salvage some of their lost savings.
They’re asking Congress to extend assistance of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. to U.S. citizens who lost billions in Stanford’s bank.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com. Read Patsy’s blog, From the Front Row, on NEMS360.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal