In the latest dispute over the ruins of Allen Stanford’s $7 billion empire of fraud, 329 former Stanford brokers have been targeted for $215 million. Stanford Receiver Ralph Janvey is looking to undertake clawback action against the onetime sales agents of Stanford Financial Group (SFG), which collapsed in 2009 after its signature certificate of deposit program turned out to be the second-largest Ponzi scheme in American history.
Facing resistance to his latest initiative, Janvey has turned to the Supreme Court for permission to move forward with a blanket lawsuit against all 329 brokers for the commissions and bonuses they earned in the course of selling Stanford CDs. What he’s trying to circumvent is FINRA arbitration of individual cases, a process that attorneys for the brokers say is the only legitimate one on the books. Arbitration had been previously agreed upon by SFG as the means to settle disputes and claims, and the Receiver, they say, is up against “an unbroken line of [legal] authority dating back 75 years.” Janvey’s lawyers, meanwhile, assert that arbitration arrangements made during Stanford’s bogus reign are no longer valid, and therefore the brokers can be hit with a one-size-fits-all adversary suit.
No longer the toast of Caribbean cricket tournaments, Stanford himself is now sitting out a 110-year sentence in federal prison. Whatever the Court might decide in this new chapter of asset clawback efforts, it will likely be of little consolation to Stanford victims, who have seen about 1% compensation for their losses – a single penny to the dollar. Janvey has undergone criticism for his management of the receivership – attorneys conducting the case have taken $155 million in fees, while 30,000 Stanford victims have received $55 million. Hope for recovery might rest in the ability of investors to pursue class-action litigation at the state level, a recourse which was affirmed to them by the Court in a ruling from February of this year.
Michael A. Hackard, Meriam Hansen, Nou Lee and Jeremy Rutledge are experienced in prosecuting civil actions against Ponzi scheme perpetrators as well as defending and resolving clawback cases filed by Bankruptcy Trustees and SEC Receivers. If you have been a victim in a Ponzi scheme and face legal action, contact Hackard Law today.