Pressure on Allen Stanford receiver ramps up in US

HOUSTON, (Reuters) – Allen Stanford is a logical  target for the ire of his former investors, but now the man  named to track assets from the alleged fraud led by the Texas  financier faces heightened criticism and calls for his  removal.

Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey is being accused by investors,  regulators and politicians of overreaching his authority and  overspending on legal bills and consultants hired to help him.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, who  recommended Janvey for the position, now seeks to limit  Janvey’s role in the case, while at least one U.S. senator  wants him booted from the job.

About $269 million in Stanford’s assets has been recovered  and Janvey has asked U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas  to approve about $27 million in fees, according to the  receiver’s records.

In court documents, the SEC has called the amount of the  fees excessive. Godbey, who appointed Janvey in February, has  not yet ruled on the fee application.

In February, the SEC charged Stanford with fraud, accusing  him of leading a $7 billion Ponzi scheme using certificates of  deposit issued by his Antigua bank. Stanford, who also faces  criminal charges related to the alleged fraud, has denied any  wrongdoing.

The SEC also wants to limit Janvey’s attempts to pursue  principal and interest from some Stanford CD investors, saying  the proceeds were tainted. Janvey has filed a lawsuit seeking  those so-called claw back funds, but the SEC has argued in  court papers that the lawsuit may harm innocent investors.

Representatives for Janvey did not reply to an email  seeking comment.

Now, the patience of investors, politicians and even the  SEC appears to be wearing thin.

At a U.S. Senate Banking Committee field hearing held in  Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Monday, several hundred investors  who attended booed, jeered and hissed when Janvey’s name was  mentioned.

Rose Romero, regional director in the SEC’s Fort Worth  office, told investors at the hearing that her office was  exploring ways to limit the scope of the receivership.

Asked if the SEC would request a new receiver, Romero  answered, “I can say that is one of the issues we have under  consideration.” She declined to comment further.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond  in Virginia, said the SEC’s tough stance on Janvey is part of  the agency’s overall effort to pursue fraud more aggressively.

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