Stanford’s Alleged Document Shredder Wants Indictment Dismissed

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Thomas Raffanello, Stanford Financial Group’s ex-global security director, asked a U.S. judge to throw out an indictment accusing him of destroying records sought for a Securities and Exchange Commission probe.

In papers filed yesterday with U.S. District Judge William Zloch in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Raffanello’s lawyers said restraining orders obtained from a Dallas federal court judge by the SEC and a court-appointed receiver forbidding destruction of Stanford business records didn’t apply to him or the company for which he worked.

“Unfortunately for the government, the underlying orders upon which it relies are fatally flawed,” the defense attorneys said in their 22-page filing.


Raffanello formerly led the Miami office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. On Sept. 10 he became the second person charged with helping destroy documents sought in the SEC probe of Texas financier R. Allen Stanford and his businesses operating under the umbrella title of the Stanford Financial Group of Co.

Stanford, who has been criminally and civilly accused of leading a $7 billion investor fraud scheme, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. Raffanello has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges against him.

The shredding allegedly was carried out at Stanford’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offices less than a week after the Dallas court issued its Feb. 16 order.

Ian McCaleb, a Justice Department spokesman, declined to comment on the dismissal request in an e-mailed statement.

The case is U.S. v. Raffanello, 09-60129-CF-ZLOCH, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Fort Lauderdale).

Source:Bloomberg

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