COViSAL is formed by families from Latin America, U.S.A., Canada, and other countries who were affected by the collapsed of Stanford Financial Group when it was seized by United States authorities in February of 2009 Our objective is to fight for the recovery of our savings, and demand an immediate restitution from the US Government. Our rights must prevail over judicial manipulations, and good conscience must be the instrument to impart justice and to stop a never-ending fraud.
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Stanford's victims defrauded again by the Joint Liquidators of SIBL
COALICION VICTIMAS DE STANFORD AMERICA LATINA (COViSAL)
Stanford victims are in a panic - many suffering emotional distress.
Today marks the five
year anniversary of the Stanford debacle and the Joint Liquidators Marcus Wide
and Hugh Dickson, of Grant Thornton, decided to give Stanford’s defrauded
depositors an anniversary present - a letter asking for the return of money
that they withdrew during the six months prior to the collapse of the Stanford International
Bank Limited (“SIBL”).
The Letter from Marcus Wide and Hugh Dickson of Grant
Thornton reads as follows:
“I write further to my previous notification
to you regarding your claim, which was allowed in the amount of (x dollars)
under the above Primary Express Account.
amount of funds was withdrawn in the six-month period preceding SIB ceasing to
trade of 23 February 2009. We consider that these payments were unfairly
prejudicial to the other creditors of the Company under sections 204 of the
Antigua and Barbuda International Business Corporations Act and thus
preferential (the Preference Payments). In order to re-balance the creditors’
position, we are initiating a claw back process through the Courts against
creditors who have received Preference Payments.
According to the
Company records, you have received Preference Payments of US$ x which we
require be repaid to the Estate. Please see the attached breakdown showing how
your Preference Payment was calculated.
On repayment of
the Preference Payment, your claim will be increased by the amount repaid
resulting in a revised claim of US$ x, which will be used to calculate
distributions as they are paid from time to time.
Failure to repay
the Preference Payment will result in the estate withholding dividends until
sufficient funds are held back to offset the full amount of the Preference
Payment you received; at point, you will be eligible to receive future
dividends. Failure to repay may also result in the estate seeking judgment
against you and to collect the Preference amount.
The Court has
approved this decision to adjust your entitlement to any distribution in the
future. You do however have the right to challenge this decision. If you with
to challenge this decision, the Court has directed that in the first instance,
you must apply directly to the Joint Liquidators at Stanford.firstname.lastname@example.org
or the address above within 120 days of the date of this correspondence. All
future communication regarding this claim should include the Primary Express
Account Number. This will serve as your claim number.
For and on behalf of the Stanford International Bank Limited (in
Marcus Wide and Hugh Dickson
The letter sent
by the Joint Liquidators to investors challenging the above decision:
Thank you for your email.
Your objection has been received and added to our system. You are not
required to do anything more at this point.
All objections raised are being collated by the Joint Liquidators. Once
the 120-day period expires, the objecting parties will be contacted and advised
of the next steps.
Please note that the Joint Liquidators reserve the right to pursue the
investor if they do not repay the preference payments.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
For and on behalf of
Marcus Wide and Hugh Dickson”
Many Stanford’s victims have contacted COViSAL to express their anger
and disbelief. They are in shock after receiving this sinister claw back letter
from the Joint Liquidators. Innocent families have been waiting for any
meaningful distribution of their stolen savings; the majority of them have been
enduring five years of hardship, unable to pay for living expenses or medical
treatments. Mr. Wide and Mr. Dickson's shotgun approach to claw back investors
who withdrew money from their principal invested at SIBL is cruel and horrific.
The Joint Liquidators did not consider the consequences to the well being of
many victims in poor health and emotional fragility before sending this blunt
and damaging letter.
“I am doing my best to contain the actual kind of foul language that I
truly wish to use after reading this embarrassing letter sent by your company.
I could not sleep when I read it last night at 2:00 a.m. in the morning
wondering HOW, JUST HOW can I explain this NONSENSE to my parents when I
translate the letter for them? It is an absolute disgrace and you, your
company, and/or whichever court might have come up with this ruling should be
ashamed before God, family, and life itself,” one victim wrote to Mr. Wide and
Mr. Dickson, objecting to the letter.
“The letter that I just received from Grant Thornton is affecting me
emotionally… I never received the amount of my allowed claim; I wrote to them
many times and I am still waiting for an answer,” another victim said.
“What I understand from the letter is that according to them, I received
‘preferential payments’ that were prejudicial to other investors!!! So, what
was I?... That I have to return an amount of money so they would consider
returning something that was already mine?…”, a victim commented.
“This act is an aberration, and a
total injustice. Now the Joint Liquidators have found a way to keep getting a
paycheck for themselves and their comrades for a long time. They are keeping
the money they were supposed to distribute to victims; they found an easy
target - the innocent families that knew nothing of this fraud.”
“The Joint Liquidators should go after the net winners who took all of
their money out, such as the Antiguan government that confiscated properties
and received millions of dollars in loans from our savings." “The Joint
Liquidators have not recovered any assets and are desperate to maintain most of
the money assigned by the Department of Justice from the repatriation of funds
The innocent families, who had their life savings deposited at SIBL in
Antigua, did not know and had no previous knowledge of the bank’s problems. It
is a fact that the majority of the depositors only became aware that SIBL was
in trouble when the SEC intervened the Stanford Financial Group on February 17,
In reference to the withdrawals made by the majority of depositors during
the six months prior to the closing of SIBL’s operations, they were not
“Preferential Payments,” they were Legitimate Withdrawals of part of their
principal by the rightful owners of the money, which they deposited and
withdrew at the bank during the ordinary course of business of SIBL.These withdrawals were made rightfully and in
good faith. Families withdrew part of their invested principal to pay for
living expenses, medical treatments, to help a relative in financial need, for
a down payment to buy a home or to buy a car, to pay for a vacation, or to
start a business.
These families lost all of their life savings in Stanford’s fraud; many
sold their homes and other assets they had left to be able to survive. The
majority of investors in the SIBL were common people, families that worked very
hard for 30-40 years to save money for their retirement, for a college fund for
their children or grandchildren, and to have savings available for a medical
emergency, among other things.
During the past five years, victims of the fraud have been living in
dire straits; many died because they could not bear the news of losing their
savings or because they could not pay for a life saving operation. The Stanford
fiasco destroyed their lives. Recently, the Joint Liquidators announced a 1%
distribution of the victims' approved net remaining principal after the
interests and withdrawals were deducted. Families saw a light of hope with the
announcement. However, Mr. Wide & Mr. Dickson decided to drop a bombshell
at the last minute by sending these cold and calculated letters to innocent depositors,
asking them to return their own money to the Estate.
Show me the
Mr. Wide, Mr. Dickson and their colleagues have
received millions of dollars from our stolen savings in fees and expenses, and
so far they have not recovered any significant assets. Now, they want to
exclude honest victims from a rightful distribution, including the money that
was confiscated in England, and that according to the U.S. Department of
Justice was to be distributed to the innocent families.
Why don't they go after the “Net Winners” and the
insiders who took all of their money out; such as financial advisors and
directors, major clients, large institutions, wealthy individuals and the
government of Antigua that confiscated Stanford’s properties and owes Stanford’s
Estate millions of dollars in loans that were taken from our savings?
It seems that the money available from our stolen
savings is simply petty cash for the attorneys and professionals managing the
Liquidation of SIBL. They are getting rich quick, while the victims are unable
to pay for their living expenses and medical bills, many continuing to live in
Where are the morals and the good conscience of the
people responsible for the Stanford case?
·We ask the Joint
Liquidators to stop the claw backs on innocent families, victims of this
horrendous fraud who are “Net Losers.”You
signed a joint agreement with the U.S. Receiver, and other parties, to go after
the "Net Winners.”
·We ask that all
innocent victims be included in the upcoming 1% distribution that you recently
announced, and any other future distribution, without being held prisoner
through a 120-day holding period with an unclear and uncertain outcome.
·We ask the U.S.
Department of Justice, the U.S. Receiver, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,
the Stanford Examiner, and the Official Stanford Investors Committee, who
jointly signed an agreement with the Joint Liquidators, to voice their opinion
on the matter and demand that the Joint Liquidators stop these cruel actions
that are hurting innocent families.
·We ask the
Courts in Antigua not to allow the Joint Liquidators, who were named to prevent
the waste and squandering of the creditors' patrimony, to continue consuming
what’s left of our stolen savings, and now, go after innocent investors.
The actions in pursuing claw backs against innocent
investors are supported by neither logic nor law. The Estate stands to expend a
substantial amount of resources with little prospect for a meaningful recovery
- money that could be use to help victims in need.
Why prolong the suffering of innocent victims who do
not have any means to defend themselves before the Courts of Antigua?
What honest and transparent legal entity is providing
oversight of the liquidation process?
Where are the checks and balances?
COViSAL hopes that the authorities responsible for the
Stanford Case and the courts in Antigua make their principles coincide with
their actions and show the world, with actions, its commitment to honesty,
equality and justice.
May God bless the hearts of the thousands of innocent
families - victims of a fraud that still continues!
/s/ Jaime R. Escalona
behalf of COViSAL
Víctimas de Stanford América Latina (COViSAL)
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