More charges pending in Stanford fraud case

WASHINGTON, United States, Thursday September 23, 2010 – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that it has recommended charges be laid against several former top executives in Allen Stanford’s empire as investigations into his alleged US$8 billion fraud continue.

The names have not been released, however.

The disclosure came from Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office, Rose Romero, as she testified before the US Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee yesterday in a hearing on ‘Oversight of the SEC Inspector General’s Report on the Investigation of the SEC’s Response to Concerns Regarding Robert Allen Stanford’s Alleged Ponzi Scheme and Improving SEC Performance’.

Romero told the Committee that over the past year, the SEC staff has been continuing investigations to determine if other executives and employees at Stanford Financial Group deceived US investors in the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposit (CDs) through the Stanford International Bank (SIB).

She said other people face prosecution now that the SEC has collected and reviewed tens of thousands of documents, reviewed email communications of more than 150 former employees, interviewed and taken sworn statements of more than 60 former employees and other witnesses, and interviewed approximately 200 victims of the Stanford fraud.

“We have…notified several former Stanford executives that we intend to recommend fraud charges against them. These persons include former high level executives and financial advisors,” she said. 

“Our investigation of these matters is continuing, as are our efforts to maximize the recovery for the Stanford victims.

In addition to Stanford who faces 21 counts of fraud, the SEC previously named SIB chief financial officer James Davis – who pleaded guilty to charges including fraud last month – and Laura Pendergest-Holt, the chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group who has denied allegations of fraud and conspiracy to commit money-laundering, in its action.

Former head of Antigua and Barbuda’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) Leroy King, along with Stanford accountants Mark Kuhrt and Gilberto Lopez also face charges.

Click here to receive free daily email news bulletins from Caribbean360.