Stanford investors sue Caribbean banks

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

DALLAS, Texas – Three Stanford Financial Group investors on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against eight Caribbean banks to return billions of dollars lost when the financial empire collapsed last year.
The investors – from Louisiana, Mexico and a U.S. retirement plan trustee – ask the U.S. District Court in Northern Texas to classify the lawsuit as class action for “themselves and all others similarly situated” to recover some of their losses, estimated at $7.2 billion.
They claim the regulator Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, with Antigua and the other bank defendants, seized the Bank of Antigua and all Stanford assets one day after it became public that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against SFG’s CEO R. Allen Stanford, an Antiguan bank regulator and four Stanford executives, including Baldwyn natives James M. Davis and Laura Pendergest-Holt.
“Antigua has no legitimate claim to retain the vast sums of money that Stanford siphoned from investors and directed into Antigua’s coffers and to the bank accounts of corrupt Antiguan officials,” the lawsuit asserts.
Prior to its seizure, Bank of Antigua was wholly owned by Stanford.
The lawsuit was filed by a New York legal firm through a Texas attorney. Stanford’s court-appointed receiver has not yet commented on the action, although the court has barred individual lawsuits against the estate without the receiver’s permission.

Trial due in 2011
Stanford and the others face a 2011 trial on criminal charges in the U.S. District Court of Southern Texas in Houston. They have pleaded not guilty.
Only Davis pleaded guilty and is expected to be a key prosecution witness.
The new lawsuit’s plaintiffs seek class-action status because of the considerable number of people eligible to seek damages, perhaps tens of thousands, they say.
They also claim the country of Antigua participated in Stanford’s alleged fraud and orchestrated the bank takeover without compensation to Stanford or the victims of his financial collapse.
“Plaintiffs and the Class are the rightful owners of the assets fraudulently and illegally transferred to the Bank of Antigua,” the lawsuit states.
They ask the court for a jury trial, damages proven at trial, a financial accounting and an order that transfers were void, as well as attorneys fees and costs.

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