WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), are demanding that Toronto-Dominion Bank provide a plan within 21 days for paying restitution to the thousands of people – including many Louisianans – who lost their life savings in the Stanford Ponzi scheme.
The demand letter to Toronto-Dominion Bank is part of a multi-layered strategy by Sens. Kennedy and Cassidy to recover money for victims defrauded by Stanford International Bank and Allen Stanford. Stanford victims lost more than $5 billion. They’ve recovered just a few cents for every dollar they lost.
Toronto-Dominion Bank provided banking services to Stanford without questioning suspicious activity, including unreasonably high investment returns, large round sums leaving Stanford’s accounts and wire transfers that should have set off warning bells.
In February, Sens. Kennedy and Cassidy asked Stanford’s Swiss bank, Societe Generale, to release $210 million in assets. Sen. Cassidy later sat down with Societe Generale’s lawyers to discuss the issue.
“We’re going to chase Stanford’s assets like hounds from hell until we recover what was stolen from hard-working people. The investors defrauded by Stanford weren’t wealthy. Most of them were just average Louisianans who lost their life savings,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Toronto-Dominion Bank turned a blind eye to obviously fraudulent activity by Stanford. Ten years later, it’s past time to answer to the people who were hurt.”
“The Stanford Ponzi Scheme stole billions from hardworking teachers, nurses, firefighters and middle-class folks in Louisiana, and we will not stop until these families' life savings are returned,” said Dr. Cassidy. “TD Bank's handling of the Stanford case is unacceptable and they must take action to mend their failure."
June 14, 2019
Mr. Gregory B. Braca
President and Chief Executive Officer
Toronto, Ontario M5K 1A2
Dear Mr. Braca,
It has been nearly 10 years since the collapse of Stanford International Bank (SIB) and Allen Stanford’s arrest for running the second largest Ponzi scheme in United States history. Nearly a decade later, more than 21,000 of Stanford's victims have yet to be repaid in any meaningful way, and TD Bank has yet to be called to account for the years of knowing assistance it provided to Stanford and his Ponzi scheme, due in large part to the procedural and litigation roadblocks that TD Bank has thrown in the path of those seeking to obtain restitution for Stanford’s victims.
In the interim, we understand that TD Bank has not only continued to operate throughout the United States, but expanded its American operations. We demand that TD Bank stop its obstructionist conduct, engage in a meaningful effort to put an end to this decade-long debacle, and provide restitution to the Stanford victims without further delay. Regulatory intervention should not be necessary for Stanford's victims to receive the justice they deserve.
As you are undoubtedly aware, the evidence indicates that TD Bank aided and abetted Stanford’s banking outside the United States. By providing banking services to Allen Stanford without so much as questioning a single transaction in the face of Stanford’s suspicious activity, TD Bank helped Stanford defraud thousands of unsuspecting victims.
TD Bank ignored numerous inescapable signs of fraudulent activity: large round sums leaving Stanford’s TD Bank accounts; actual investment returns that could not support the unreasonably high CD returns SIB was offering; consistent wire transfers to accounts maintained by entities other than SIB; SIB’s limited number of Canadian customers; SIB’s correspondent banking services with another North American banking institution; SIB’s location in Antigua, one of the highest risk jurisdictions in the world known for money laundering; and Stanford’s declared bankruptcy and designation as a Politically Exposed Person. In its pursuit of the fees it could earn by aiding the Stanford empire, TD Bank also ignored warnings from many others – including the SEC, Pershing, L.L.C., Chase Manhattan Bank, and Bank of America – about doing business with Stanford and SIB. We will not permit TD Bank to hide any longer from the fact that it was an integral cog in the wheel of the Stanford Ponzi scheme.
TD Bank’s involvement with Stanford is part and parcel of a disturbing pattern of TD Bank’s turning a blind eye at its customers’ fraudulent activities: a banking executive of TD Bank was convicted of assisting efforts to induce investors to fund the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme, and TD Bank, through its New York Branch, also acted as a correspondent bank to American International Bank (Antigua) (AIB), another entity in receivership that engaged in financial fraud and money laundering despite not having conducted “any due diligence” on AIB as noted in a 2001 Congressional report.
We will not tolerate this conduct and the abandonment of investors that have been harmed by TD Bank and other financial institutions involved with Stanford.
Accordingly, please begin the process of providing restitution to the Stanford victims immediately. Within 21 days, please present to us your plan to put an end to the ongoing litigation with the Stanford receiver and other plaintiffs, and provide restitution to our constituents and the other victims of Allen Stanford’s fraud.
John Kennedy Bill Cassidy, M.D.
US Senator US Senator