The order affects almost all of the clients in Mississippi.
By Dennis Seid
Most Mississippians with Stanford Financial accounts will get access to their money after the weekend.
The court-appointed receiver in control of Stanford’s assets said clients with account balances of less than $250,000 will have access starting Monday, with a few exceptions.
“This is the second good step forward we’ve gotten this week,” said Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who has been lobbying receiver Ralph Janvey to release more accounts.
Earlier reports said the accounts with less than $100,000 could be released today. But late Wednesday, Janvey increased the threshold of the accounts he would unfreeze to $250,000, and confirmed the Monday release date.
However, customers will have to change brokers to access the funds.
“We’re working on getting that information out to the people,” Hosemann said. It will be posted at www.sos.state.ms.us as soon as possible, he said.
The receiver also said it would post by Monday step-by-step instructions for investors at www.stanfordfinancialreceivership.com so that they can transfer their accounts to other brokers and gain access to funds in their accounts.
The accounts that will be released are held by Pershing LLC, a clearing company that holds “the vast majority” of Stanford accounts, according to Janvey.
The order affects about 32,000 Pershing accounts worth about $6 billion, according to Reuters.
About 4,320 out of 4,524 Stanford accounts held by Mississippians will be released with assets totaling roughly $220 million, Hosemann’s office announced.
Also, the receiver also still has the right to pursue claims against the released accounts “if it is determined subsequently that they participated in the fraud or received proceeds from fraudulent products or activities.”
The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission Securities froze Stanford assets last month, charging three Stanford affiliates and three top executives of orchestrating a $9.2 billion Ponzi scheme that includes the sale of $8 billion of supposed high-yield certificates of deposit.
Some categories of accounts won’t be released:
n Accounts owned by shareholders, directors and certain employees;
n Accounts owned for the benefit of Stanford;
n Accounts that contain investment assets managed by Stanford;
n Accounts that secure unpaid balances owed by customers or non-purpose loans made to customers;
n Accounts that are related to accounts in categories 1 through 4 by Social Security number, address or other similar indicators.
Janvey said he “regrets the hardship and delay that may result from the temporary account freeze and the transfer process.”