martes, 3 de abril de 2012

Attorneys in the Stanford Case Are the Only Ones Benefiting

EL MUNDO ECONOMIA & NEGOCIOS       //       MONDAY APRIL 2, 2012            PUBLIC POLICY

FRAUD

Attorneys in the Stanford Case Are the Only Ones Benefiting


Jaime R. Escalona from Covisal denounces millions of dollars in fees

• What’s  recovered by the Liquidators goes to pay attorneys’ fees

Cesar Contreras Altuve
ccontreras@cadena-capriles.com

Until now, “the only ones benefiting” from the fraud committed against thousands of depositors around the world, in the Stanford International Bank Limited (SIBL) based in Antigua,  are the attorneys, because “litigation continues to generate millions of dollars in fees for them," affirms Jaime R. Escalona, founder and leader of the Coalición Víctimas de Stanford América Latina (Covisal).

Escalona narrates that on March 9th of this year, the US Receiver, Ralph Janvey, registered his 16h application for fees and expenses before the US Federal Court for the Northern District of Dallas, Texas. Mr. Janvey asked the Court to approve payment of $1.6 million in fees for his attorneys, for the last quarter of 2011.

In the United States

“For only three (3) months of work, the following law firms will receive payments of: $44,166 for Krage & Janvey (Receiver’s law firm), $902,232 for Baker Boots (attorneys for the Receiver) and $44.000 for Thompson & Knight (attorneys for the Receiver)," explains Escalona.

More money

Additionally, during the same period (February 2009 to September 2011), "Krage & Janvey received $1.16 million and Thompson & Knight $3.13 million.”

Escalona points out, that until October of last year, "the Receiver has recovered close to $217 million.” However, on the other hand, “he has charged about $102 million in fees for attorneys, auditors and consultants, leaving a balance of $115 million for a possible distribution to the victims of the fraud.”

In Antigua

According to the report presented on February 10 of this year by Marcus Wide, Joint Liquidator of SIBL, to the High Court of Justice of Antigua & Barbuda, the law firms acting in the case “received the following payments for fees and expenses, corresponding to the period of May 12, 2011 to January 31, 2012: $1,630,794 for Grant Thornton (SIBL Joint Liquidators in Antigua), $516,594 for Astigarraga Davis (attorneys for the Joint Liquidators), $1,367,486 for Martin Kenney & Co. (attorneys for the Joint Liquidators)," states Escalona.

And, a group of law firms in other countries, not identified in the report, “received $1,373,671 for attorneys in Canada, $534,210 for attorneys in England, $666,331 for attorneys in the United States, $170,371 for attorneys in Switzerland, $172,428 for attorneys in Latin America, and $75,129 for attorneys in Antigua,” he added.

Other

“As if that wasn´t enough, the report includes the following additional payments: $99,454 for consultant's fees, $324,174 for fees related to real estate in Antigua, $1,186,750 for other operational expenses.”, says Escalona.

“We would like the unnamed law firms to be identified, and would like to see the detailed invoices of their work, as well as the invoices of all the payments issued,” Escalona added.

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$1.6
Million requested by the US Receiver to the Court to pay fees to his attorneys.

$1.16
Million received only by the Receiver’s law firms between February 2009 & September 2011

$18.9
Million charged by Kevin Sadler, partner of Baker Boots (attorneys for the US Receiver), for his work between February 2009 and September 2011.

$330
Million of the victims funds left, which are confiscated in three countries; they ask to be distributed directly to them.

Balance

Escalona explains that SIBL’s Joint Liquidators (Grant Thornton) in Antigua recovered $8.1 million, additionally they received a $14.7 million loan from the frozen funds in England, belonging to the victims, for a total of $22.8 million at hand.

However, from this total, the Joint Liquidators already spent $10.9 million in fees for attorneys, consultants and other expenses.

Leaving a balance of $11.9 million. However, there is a “contingency liability for $18,000,000 claimed by the previous Joint Liquidators (FRP Advisory, LLC (Vantis)) for professional fees.

Escalona affirms that “the Joint Liquidators are spending more than $1 million monthly.”

He demands that “the $330 million of our savings, confiscated in England, Switzerland and Canada, to be distributed directly to the victims of the fraud.”

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Translation to Spanish by Covisal.