By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Get out your checkbook, if you want the Cartier watch or a piano once belonging to former Stanford executive James M. Davis.
Ralph Janvey, the court-appointed receiver of the Stanford financial empire remnants, wants permission to sell items owned by Davis, who was the government’s chief witness against his former boss during a five-week trial in Houston, Texas.
A jury convicted 62-year-old R. Allen Stanford of conducting a $7.2-billion Ponzi scheme on some 30,000 investors worldwide. He’s due to be sentenced June 14.
Meanwhile, Janvey seeks to pay his expenses and use what’s left for a victims’ pool with funds from the sale of Stanford’s, and now Davis’, assets.
He tells U.S. District Judge David Godbey he expects to get $50,000 from the Davis auction.
Davis, who spent time as a youth in the Baldwyn area, was Stanford’s Baylor University roommate and later the international company’s chief financial officer.
On the stand during Stanford’s trial, Davis admitted to making nearly $2 million annually in the final years as Stanford’s right-hand-man.
In those years, he generally worked out of offices in Memphis and Tupelo.
The Davis assets include:
* Four vehicles – 2003 BMW Mini Cooper, a 1998 BMW Z3 convertible, a 1975 Chevy Corvette Stingray and a 1937 Chevy coupe
* A 2000 Cobia open-hull boat
* Cartier watch
* Household items including gym equipment, furniture, lamps, other decorations, a guitar, a piano and a telescope.
Not included is the four-story Davis home in Union County’s Dry Creek community west of Baldwyn.
Trustmark Bank, which holds the $1.7-million mortgage, waits for Godbey’s permission for its foreclosure, admitting it doesn’t expect to get its money back.
In September 2009, Davis pleaded guilty to his part in the scheme and faces up to 30 years in prison.
He said he hopes his cooperation and testimony against Stanford and other co-defendants will mean leniency from U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who presides over the criminal case.
Baldwyn native Laura Pendergest-Holt, who was Stanford’s chief investment officer, two other executives and a former Caribbean bank regulator face trial beginning Sept. 10 in Houston, where Stanford established his corporate headquarters.
In the legal sale-request document, Holt’s attorney says she doesn’t oppose the Davis sale but does for any of her property.
Davis’ attorney says the request “comports with (his) understanding.”
At Stanford’s trial, Davis said he and his wife are living on a Michigan farm where he’s done accounting work, although he resigned shortly before the trial to fulfill other obligations.
More than a thousand Mississippians were among victims who lost their retirement funds and life savings when the Stanford empire crashed in 2009 under the weight of a federal investigation.
Many of their losses came from bogus certificates of deposit, which weren’t insured, through Stanford International Bank Ltd. in Antigua.