A motion to acquire over 250 acres of land owned by the Stanford Financial Group of Companies is to be moved today by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda when it convenes an emergency meeting of the House of Representatives.
A statement out of the Office of the Prime Minister in St. John’s, Antigua yesterday said that the move by the government follows an order in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas for a receiver to be appointed to take control of the assets of Sir R. Allen Stanford and his companies after he was charged with fraud to the tune of US$8B.
The motion will be moved by the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs by way of a resolution authorizing the Secretary to the Cabinet to cause a declaration to be made for the acquisition of the lands described in the schedule for a public purpose.
The recital to the motion said that the move by the US court “threatens the financial viability of the Bank of Antigua, the prompt payment by the Stanford Group of Companies of the massive outstanding debt to local suppliers and the continued employment of over eight hundred employees at a time of global financial crisis”.
A second recital clause said that Cabinet considers it necessary that the land be acquired for a public purpose “namely to protect the national economy and give necessary support and assistance” to the banking sector ad its regulatory agency.
Last week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Texas billionaire with fraudulently selling $8 billion in certificates of deposit with improbably high interest rates from his Stanford Inter-national Bank which is based in Antigua.
Meanwhile, on February 19 the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) of Antigua and Barbuda appointed as joint receivers of Stanford International Bank Ltd and Stanford Trust Co. Ltd., Nigel Hamilton-Smith and Peter Wastell, Client Partners at Vantis Business Recovery Services, a division of Vantis, the UK accounting, tax and business advisory group, a statement from the Receiver-Managers said.
And commenting on recent progress, Hamilton-Smith said, “Following our appointment last Friday, we have thus far been able to confirm the amounts invested by clients and have put arrangements in place for the Receiver-Manager’s team and staff at Stanford International Bank to deal with client enquiries.”
In the meantime an email address, stanfordenquiries@ vantisplc.com, has been set up for all investor and depositor enquiries and up-to-date statements will be issued to all clients, totaling some 28,000 by month-end.
The joint receivers said further that they are now beginning the process of communicating with the financial institutions that they have identified as holding assets on behalf of Stanford International Bank, and they are also seeking co-operation arrangements with the US Receiver to further assist in the asset identification work which they need to undertake.
However, at this time they are unable to ascertain the total value of assets held or report on the timescale for the return of monies to investors. Their priority, the statement said, is to safeguard the interests of investors and depositors, identify and preserve assets and together with the international regulators and authorities and the US Receiver, they are working to complete those investigations as quickly as possible to avoid further inconvenience to the Bank’s customers.