Stanford Lawyer: “SEC Came In Like A Bunch Of Storm Troopers”

March 26, 2009 11:06 a.m.

Dick DeGuerin, the hard-charging Texas lawyer who just signed on to represent Allen Stanford, isn’t pulling any punches.

In an interview with TPMmuckraker moments ago, DeGuerin denied that Stanford was running a Ponzi scheme. And, referring to federal investigators’ raids on Stanford offices as the SEC prepared charges last month, DeGuerin played the Nazi card, declaring:

The SEC came in like a bunch of Storm Troopers, which caused a panic, and caused the banks in Venezuela and elsewhere to nationalize his banks, just take them away.

This move, combined with the decline in the stock market, caused a severe diminution in the value of Stanford’s assets, DeGuerin said. “It’s a perfect storm of panic caused by the SEC’s heavy-handed actions”

DeGuerin also argued, as he did earlier today to BusinessWeek, that the SEC is going after Stanford as a distraction from its failures on the Bernard Madoff case.

“They got egg all over their faces when they failed to sufficiently oversee the Madoff Ponzi scheme,” DeGuerin said. “What the SEC is trying to do is make up for their embarrassment over Madoff.”

DeGuerin also said he’d soon be asking a judge to unfreeze a portion of Stanford’s assets, so he could pay for a defense.

And he previewed an argument he’ll likely make in that effort, asserting that lawyers who have represented Stanford and his companies have now been hired by the court-appointed receiver, Ralph Janvey, who is going through Stanford’s assets. DeGuerin called this “a clear conflict.”

Asked whether he’d continue to represent Stanford if a judge declined to unfreeze the assets, DeGuerin was typically blunt: “I’m not going to do this for free,” he said. “This is a massive undertaking.”

It sure is.

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