Stanford case: Wicker asks for block on loan to Antigua

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo, asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to stop an international loan to the Antigua government until it cooperates with investigation into the Stanford financial scandal.
Wednesday, Wicker wrote a letter to Geithner, who appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week, opposing loans by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to the Caribbean nation, which hosted Stanford International Bank.
Thousands of people lost billions of dollars invested in SIB certificates of deposit when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission went public with its investigation of the bank and its associated companies owned under the umbrella, Stanford Financial Group.
“I ask you in the strongest possible terms to communicate that the United States will do all it possibly can to stop any loan that benefits Antigua,” Wicker wrote Geithner.
After the Stanford empire collapse, Antigua’s government seized local property owned by SFG, preventing the U.S. court-appointed receiver from securing the assets for a victims fund.
“It is simply incomprehensible for Antigua to receive any loan,” Wicker added, “until the nation cooperates in the ongoing investigation” or until the case is concluded.
Stanford operated an office in Tupelo and many investors were recruited from Northeast Mississippi.
Some have filed federal lawsuits against their financial advisers to recover lost funds.
Company CEO R. Allen Stanford, executives James M. Davis and Laura Pendergest-Holt of Baldwyn and others were accused by federal prosecutors of masterminding a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme. All except Davis face criminal trial in Texas U.S. District Court.
Davis pleaded guilty to the scheme and likely will be the government’s chief witness.

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

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal