Stanford Victims Starting To Emerge

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Just as happened in the Bernard Madoff scandal, we’re now starting to hear some heart-wrenching stories from the victims of Allen Stanford’s alleged fraud.

One older couple told their tale of woe to a North Texas TV station:

Marsha and Arlie Carter always planned to live out their golden years in Rainbow, Texas, outside Dallas. They sold their software company — the business they built together from nothing — to finance their dream.

“We hoped to pass it down to my kids and grandkids,” Marsha said.

Then, last month, they turned on the news and learned the company their broker worked for was entangled in a case of massive alleged fraud. All the money associated with Stanford Financial Group was frozen, including about 30,000 brokerage accounts.

That’s where the Carters were keeping most of the money they had saved.

“There’s a possibility that we might lose the house if we can’t have enough income to make the payments on it,” Marsha Carter said.

Less tragically, the Dallas Morning News reports that many clients who had brokerage, money-market or mutual fund accounts with Stanford can’t get to their money because those accounts have been frozen by a court-appointed receiver.

Reports the paper:

Mark Choate, chief executive of an irrigation landscape company, has a brokerage account that’s been frozen for two weeks. “During that time,” Choate says, “the stock market has been dropping like a rock, and I haven’t been able to do anything about it.”

A lawyer for clients like these tells the DMN:

A guy called me Thursday who has all of his net worth tied up in a construction project and meets his payroll through his Stanford accounts. He said, ‘Larry, if I don’t have access to that money, all these people aren’t going to get paid. My construction project will go kaput, and my whole life will be in ruin.’

There’s even a suggestion that Stanford may have swindled some of those West Indian cricket players who “won” $1 million each after beating England in a Stanford-organized match last year. In an interview conducted before Stanford’s alleged fraud came to light but published this week, one player told (sub. req.) the New Yorker that he had left his prize-money in Stanford’s bank, after the billionaire assured him and other players that he would keep it safe.

Meanwhile, a showdown has quietly been brewing, reports the Associated Press, between that court-appointed receiver, Texas lawyer Ralph Janvey, and the government of Antigua, where the Senate voted Friday to seize Stanford’s property.

Stanford is Antigua’s largest private employer, with about 800 people working for him. So the country’s officials are anxious to keep Stanford’s businesses in operation, rather than allowing Janvey to use the assets to pay back swindled investors.

Looks like this story could be with us a while…

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