A $7 billion swindle’s victims could get some of their money back now that they have decided to cooperate with each other.
The swindle was a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford. Some of the investors lost their entire life savings.
It is likely that the scheme’s victims will only get pennies back when compared to the amount they lost. Only about $300 million of the money taken remains in frozen foreign bank accounts and other assets Stanford used to own.
But the group of victims has stopped battling each other and decided to work together. Angela Shaw, a Dallas-area woman who saw three generations of her family lose $4.5 million to the Ponzi scheme, founded the Stanford Victims Coalition.
R. Allen Stanford has already been convicted in the $7 billion swindle on 13 fraud-related counts. He was sentenced to 110 years in prison for the crimes. Stanford’s financial empire once stretched from the US and Latin America to the UK. After it collapsed, a US judge in Dallas as well as an Antiguan court appointed people to recover assets lost.
Ralphs Janvey was appointed by the US. His attorneys wrote in a court motion this week, “Without the … agreement, the [parties] will be forced to expend substantial time, energy and money fighting over the Stanford assets.” An attorney for the Antiguan liquidators called the agreement the “beginning of relationship that allows for everyone to be rolling in the same direction.”
The victims of Stanford’s Ponzi scheme will see some money returned to them as part of the agreement. It is expected to come this summer from funds being held in the UK. The Antiguan liquidators are keeping control of about $227 million in assets, mostly land. The money will be available for distribution after the land is sold.
Investors of the $7 billion swindle are expecting to get back roughly one percent of the amount of money they gave R. Allen Stanford.