Aug. 17, 2009 01:35

Hundreds of Stanford victims hope to have their voices heard in Baton Rouge today as they seek answers to how, despite numerous whistleblowers and other red flags, they were swindled out of their life savings in what the SEC now says was a massive Ponzi scheme.

Investors who lost billions of dollars after the February collapse of the Stanford companies and the Caribbean-based Stanford International Bank are meeting with federal officials reviewing the case. The field hearing of the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana State Police Training Academy Auditorium, Building A, 7901 Independence Blvd.

According to The Advocate, the first person listed by U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s staff as a witness for today’s hearing is Leyla Wydler, former vice president and financial adviser for the Stanford Financial Group.

Gareth Vaughan, Vitter’s press secretary, said Friday that Wydler “came forward to financial regulators SEC and FINRA in 2003 with allegations that the Stanford International Bank certificates of deposit were a massive Ponzi scheme.” ... Some of Stanford’s Louisiana investors contend that Wydler was the anonymous author of a September 2003 complaint that was sent to the SEC, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, as well as the National Association of Securities Dealers, now known as FINRA. Jean Anne Mayhall, a 57-year-old Folsom resident who lost her retirement savings to Stanford, said Wydler was fired by Stanford executives “for refusing to sell certificates of deposit (at Stanford International Bank) to her clients.” Six years ago, the anonymous complaint alleged that Stanford was operating a Ponzi scheme “that will destroy the life savings of many, damage the reputation of all associated parties, ridicule securities and banking authorities, and shame the United States of America.

Others expected to testify include a regional director for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and a vice president of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, according to The Advocate. Read the story here.

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