Stanford’s Private-Equity Stakes to Be Sold Over His Objection

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R. Allen Stanford ‘s investments in an Israeli development fund and a luxury Houston hotel can be sold immediately, over objections from the financier that he hasn’t been convicted of any wrongdoing, a federal judge ruled.

Court-appointed receiver Ralph Janvey won approval to sell several pieces of Stanford’s private-equity portfolio on an emergency basis to avoid meeting capital calls or diluting the investments, according to an order posted yesterday by U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas.

The transactions “are in the best interest of the receivership estate,” the judge wrote.

Stanford is fighting criminal and civil allegations that he defrauded investors of more than $7 billion through the sale of bogus certificates of deposit at Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. He had urged Godbey to block the sales.

The Texas financier, who is in jail awaiting trial, complained Janvey is selling his investments at steeply discounted prices and increasing investor losses by failing to let the stakes mature.

Janvey asked Godbey’s permission to sell Stanford’s share of the Israeli fund and the Houston hotel after receiving offers from other limited partners already participating in each project.

Financial Advisers

Janvey, in a separate filing yesterday, asked Godbey to continue freezing millions of dollars in brokerage accounts belonging to former Stanford Group Co. financial advisers.

The brokers asked Godbey last month to unlock their funds, which have been frozen since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Stanford and several of his executives and companies on Feb. 17. The brokers told the judge they need to pay living expenses and hire lawyers to defend claims they knowingly sold fraudulent CDs.

Earlier this week, Allen Stanford’s lawyers asked Godbey to reject Janvey’s request for payment of $7.6 million in additional legal fees and expenses, from estate assets. The receivership is consuming money at a rate of $6,500 an hour, lawyers for the financier said.

Janvey has asked the court for about $27.5 million to cover his work as Stanford’s receiver through the end of May.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09cr342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston). The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank, 09cv298, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).


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