Diario Judío México - The estranged wife of R. Allen Stanford asked a judge to join the regulatory lawsuit accusing the Texas financier of running an $8 billion Ponzi scheme.
Susan Stanford, who filed for divorce in November 2007, has the right to protect her half-interest in Stanford’s personal and corporate assets under Texas community-property laws, her lawyer said in a filing yesterday in Dallas federal court.
“She has done nothing wrong and, before her presumed interest in the property is sold off without due process of law, Susan Stanford is legally entitled to a seat at the table and the right to be heard,” wrote her lawyer, Joe Kendall.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Allen Stanford, two associates and three of his companies on Feb. 17, accusing them of defrauding investors through the sale of certificates of deposit by Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd.
U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas froze all of Stanford’s corporate and personal assets pending the outcome of the SEC case and placed them under the control of receiver Ralph Janvey. The receiver has been closing corporate offices and seeking court permission to liquidate real-estate holdings of the Stanford Financial Group of companies, of which Allen Stanford is sole shareholder.
Stanford, 59, has denied all wrongdoing and is fighting the receiver’s seizure of his assets. He was ranked 605th on Forbes magazine’s 2008 list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $2 billion.
“All of the property being rounded up by the receiver, regardless of whether held by Allen Stanford or one of his wholly owned entities, was acquired during his 33-plus-year marriage to Susan Stanford and is, in fact, community property,” Kendall said. Under Texas law, “she is presumed to own one-half of all of this property,” he said.
Dick DeGuerin, Stanford’s criminal-defense lawyer, and Jacks C. Nickens, his civil lawyer, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
“This lawsuit is not the place to sort out their matrimonial woes,” said Jeffrey Tillotson, a lawyer for Stanford’s co-defendant, Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford Group..
Kevin Callahan, an SEC spokesman, declined to comment. Janvey’s spokeswoman, Nancy Sims, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Separated 10 Years
Stanford told Bloomberg News in an April 21 interview that he’s been separated from Susan for 10 years and the couple has an adult daughter together. He said he has six children, ages 12 to 26, and he is presently engaged to the woman with whom he’s living.
In January 2008, a Texas judge ordered Allen Stanford to pay Susan Stanford temporary spousal support of $100,000 a month. The judge also gave Susan Stanford free use of her estranged husband’s corporate jets, yacht and an estate in Antigua, according to court records.
She was also given use of a 7,000-square-foot Houston mansion valued at $2.5 million, a 2,803-square-foot high-rise condominium unit valued at $1.3 million, two Mercedes and a 1998 Porsche Boxster sports car.
Allen Stanford got the rights to the couple’s house in St. Croix and all motor vehicles in his possession, the filings show.
Stanford hasn’t been able to pay any of his estranged wife’s bills or provide court-ordered support since his assets were seized in February, said his divorce lawyer, J.D. Bucky Allshouse, in a phone interview yesterday. “He has no access to any funds because the SEC froze all of it,” Allshouse said.
“It may be good news or bad news for her” if Susan Stanford is allowed to intervene in the SEC case, he said. “The SEC can say, ‘You’re a party to the suit now, so show us all your records.'”
The case is SEC v. Stanford International Bank, 3:09-cv-00298-N, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).