lunes, 19 de marzo de 2012

EXAMINER'S COMMENT CONCERNING FROZEN STANFORD FUNDS


Last Update March 19, 2012

EXAMINER'S COMMENT CONCERNING FROZEN STANFORD FUNDS  

Since the conclusion of Allen Stanford’s criminal trial in Houston, Texas, the Examiner has received a large number of emails from Stanford Investors seeking the immediate release of the approximately $330 million that has been frozen in Canada, the United Kingdom and Switzerland at the request of the Department of Justice (DOJ). From those emails, it is apparent that there is considerable confusion among Stanford Investors concerning the status of those frozen funds.

At present, funds have been frozen in Canada, the United Kingdom and Switzerland at the request of the DOJ. The approximate amounts frozen in each jurisdiction are US $200 to $210 million in Switzerland, US $100 million in the United Kingdom, and US $20 million in Canada. At the conclusion of Allen Stanford’s criminal trial, the jury delivered a verdict concerning DOJ’s request to have these frozen funds forfeited to DOJ as the proceeds of criminal activity. The jury returned a verdict in favor of forfeiture. You may review the jury’s verdict HERE.

Unfortunately, the jury’s verdict does not make any of the frozen funds available for distribution to Stanford victims. Those funds are frozen in foreign jurisdictions (Canada, the United Kingdom and Switzerland) and are under the authority of courts or agencies located in those jurisdictions. With the jury’s forfeiture verdict, it is anticipated that DOJ will now focus its efforts upon seeking the release of those frozen funds so that they can be made available for distribution to Stanford’s victims.

There remain significant obstacles to be overcome by DOJ before any of the frozen funds can be made available for distribution. The primary obstacle is the opposition of Marcus Wide and Hugh Dickson, the Joint Liquidators of SIB appointed by the Antiguan Courts. The Joint Liquidators have asserted and continue to assert that all of the frozen funds should be released to them and not to DOJ. They have been engaged in litigation in Canada with both DOJ and the US Receiver seeking to block the conclusion of an agreement that would release a substantial portion of the funds frozen in Canada to DOJ. They have similarly been engaged in litigation in the United Kingdom and in Switzerland through which they oppose any release of the frozen funds to DOJ. Instead, they seek possession of the frozen funds.

The Joint Liquidators have also made it clear that they intend to apply a substantial portion of the frozen funds (should they obtain some or all of them) to the litigation and real estate development programs they hope to execute, and not to an immediate distribution to Stanford victims. Through their webinars and court filings, they have made it clear that they would likely retain as much as US $100 million to fund both lawsuits and the development of Antiguan real estate owned by various Stanford entities.

On November 18, 2011, the Official Stanford Investor Committee (“Committee”) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice urging the Department to immediately begin to take steps to repatriate the Stanford funds currently frozen in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada. The amount of such funds is in excess of $300 million. You may view a copy of the Committee’s letter HERE.

The Committee and the Examiner actively oppose the efforts of the Joint Liquidators to obtain control of the frozen funds as not being in the interests of any Stanford investor, regardless of nationality or domicile. The Committee and the Examiner have supported and will continue to support DOJ's efforts to obtain control of all the frozen funds and to distribute them to Stanford victims without delay.