Leslie Turk

Stanford receiver attempts clawbacks

by Leslie Turk

In a controversial move that puts him at odds with the SEC, Ralph Janvey, Stanford International Bank’s court-appointed receiver, has issued clawbacks on investors who moved money from the bank's CD accounts, mostly in the months and weeks before the SEC shut Stanford down. He also is again attempting to recover for victims the commissions the Stanford advisers earned. In all, he is asking for almost $1 billion.

Saying he wants to “achieve equity for all investors by maximizing the assets of the estate,” Janvey on Tuesday expanded the complaint he filed in April in federal court in Dallas, Bloomberg reported yesterday. The SEC, however, says Janvey’s claims against “innocent investors seeking the return of principal are not supported by case law and are contrary to commission practice.” In a July 20 court filing, the SEC stated that Janvey had “misinterpreted the authority upon which he relies.”

To make his case, Janvey writes:

If the Receiver does not pursue these claims against Relief Defendants, then an investor who redeemed millions of dollars in CDs just before the Receivership began could recover 100%, or more, of his initial investment — despite the absolute certainty that what he received was money stolen from other investors. For example, on or about January 23, 2009 Relief Defendant Gregory Alan Maddux received $3,669,735.10 in SIB CD Proceeds, consisting of $3,500,000 in principal and $169,735.10 in purported interest. On December 19, 2008, Relief Defendant Regions Bank received over $13 million in CD Proceeds. Had Mr. Maddux or Regions Bank waited only a few more weeks and tried cash out after the Receivership began, they would have received nothing. Through no fault of their own, more than 20,000 other investors who did not cash out before the Receivership are waiting, and will continue to wait for some time, to receive pennies on the dollar. There is no legal authority to support such inequity.

In February the SEC accused Stanford of running an $8 billion Ponzi scheme involving sales of the CDs.

Local investors on Janvey's list include Mike Moreno, Robert Hollier and Troy Lillie. Janvey is seeking $27 million from Moreno, a Lafayette businessman.

The only Lafayette Stanford adviser Janvey is seeking to recover funds from is Tiffany Angelle, who headed the local office as vice president. Once again, he is asking that she return $676,000 in “fraudulent commissions,” as well as other “tainted compensation” she received from January 2007 to January 2009. The receiver is also seeking $1.4 million from Hank Mills of Baton Rouge, who also had clients in the Lafayette area. Read the comprehensive list here.