Nov 24 2020
“For the last two years, I have worked with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to return these assets to victims of Allen Stanford . . . I respectfully urge you to prioritize the swift transfer of these funds from Swiss authorities so the remaining assets can be distributed back into the hands of the victims before the end of the year.”
MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today wrote to Attorney General William Barr urging the Justice Department to return $110 million to victims of Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme by year’s end.
“The Department of Justice is in the early stages of initiating the process for the cross border transfer of assets that belong to victims of the second-largest Ponzi scheme in American history. For the last two years, I have worked with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to return these assets to victims of Allen Stanford (Inmate #35017-183). I respectfully urge you to prioritize the swift transfer of these funds from Swiss authorities so the remaining assets can be distributed back into the hands of the victims before the end of the year,” said Kennedy.
In June 2019, Swiss courts ordered Societe Generale (SocGen) to return $110 million in frozen assets from the Stanford Ponzi scheme. SocGen decided not to appeal the ruling. The Justice Department must now work with Swiss authorities to liquidate and return these funds to Stanford’s victims.
“The DOJ now has the responsibility to facilitate the prompt delivery of these assets to the 21,000 victims. These families have fought tooth and nail for the last decade only to recover fractions of the $8 billion stolen by Stanford. Unlike victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, these investors have not recovered significant portions of their money,” Kennedy explained.
Kennedy also wrote to Ralph Janvey, who was appointed as the legal receiver for Stanford victims. The receiver is tasked with helping victims recover money lost to fraud, and he may collect fees in connection with that role.
“I write today regarding the $110 million in assets that will soon be available for victims of Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme and strongly urge you to refrain from collecting any fees typically associated with your work to distribute these funds. . . . As the court-appointed Receiver charged with reuniting the Stanford victims with their stolen money, I call on you to forgo any fees in this settlement and ask to see the full amount returned to the victims,” wrote Kennedy.
More than 1,000 Louisianians from Baton Rouge, Covington and Lafayette lost significant amounts of their life savings to Stanford’s fraud.
In February, Kennedy wrote a letter to SocGen regarding its participation in the Stanford Ponzi scheme. The letter criticized SocGen’s failure to properly monitor Stanford-affiliated bank accounts, which were used to manage the personal assets of the Stanford group’s clientele.
Kennedy in August sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urging the administration to withdraw its nomination of Michael Finkel to be a Director of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Finkel is Director and Senior Counsel at SocGen.
Kennedy’s letter to the attorney general is available here.
Kennedy’s letter to Janvey is available here.