Stanford legacy leaves Antigua under constant scrutiny
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday June 22, 2012 – Commenting on the recent life imprisonment of Texan fraudster Allen Stanford, Antigua Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said the 110-year jail sentence was small comfort for Antigua and Barbuda.
Stanford defrauded nearly 30,000 investors in 113 countries in a Ponzi scheme involving fraudulent high-interest certificates of deposit at the Stanford International Bank in Antigua.
The prime minister went on to say that the disgraced Texan’s legacy had hurt Antigua and Barbuda in ways that both predated and outlived Stanford’s spectacular downfall.
“While this may represent a semblance of closure for some of the investors who lost a combined sum of approximately US$7billion, it provides little relief for Antigua and Barbuda as we remain under constant scrutiny,” Spencer noted.
“Our offshore financial services sector has declined significantly as a direct result of the Stanford debacle and it will likely take some years to recover,” he added.
The prime minister was commenting on the matter while delivering the feature address at a ceremony to mark the official opening of Antigua’s new Inland Revenue building.
Spencer further noted: “Despite this fact and the events that have transpired since 2009, we still have our detractors who are full of praise for Mr Stanford and still view him as a saviour. If only they could take their beaks and heads out of the sand.”
Directing a jab at the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP), the prime minister said: “Under the stewardship of our predecessors in office, Antigua and Barbuda was operated as a giant Ponzi scheme and we can appreciate, therefore, the unqualified affinity of the ALP to R Allen Stanford.”