Senators Ask For Sanctions Against Antigua For Stonewalling Receiver In Alleged Allen Stanford Ponzi Case

breakingnewsEight U.S. Senators have introduced a resolution calling for banking sanctions against the Caribbean island nation of Antigua for stonewalling in the Ponzi scheme investigation of Allen Stanford.

The senators said Stanford might have lent the Antigua government “at least” $85 million before the alleged scheme collapsed earlier this year and that the money “presumably came from Stanford investor funds.”

Stanford is accused by U.S. regulators and criminal prosecutors of presiding over a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme through the sale of CDs. He is jailed in Texas awaiting trial.

The resolution calls on the United States to use its voices in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank “to oppose making any loans to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda until that Government cooperates with the United States and compensates the victims of the Stanford Financial Group fraud.”

“Instead of stonewalling efforts to recover assets linked to the scam perpetrated by Allen Stanford and his firm, the government of Antigua and Barbuda should join U.S. and international organizations in trying to find some measure of justice for victims,” said Sen. Thad Cochran, R.-Miss. “Government officials in Antigua and Barbuda must understand that their lack of cooperation is unacceptable.”

A Democrat — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire — joined seven Republicans in introducing the resolution.

One Republican said Antigua and Barbuda were acting in “absurd” fashion.

“The Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Allen Stanford cheated thousands of people, many of them in the United States, out of their investments,” said Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.

Shelby is ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

“It is essential that to the extent possible these victims get their money back,” Shelby said. “It is absurd that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is standing in the way of helping victims, while also holding out its hand for funding. This resolution makes clear that the United States will not accept such behavior.”

A Mississippi Republican agreed.

“Thousands of people have been victimized by the Stanford Ponzi scheme, including many who lost their life savings,” said Sen. Roger Wicker. “The cooperation of the Antigua government is essential to helping the victims of this fraud, but this assistance has been consistently denied. It is completely unacceptable for Antigua to receive any loan from the IMF and the World Bank, both of which receive significant funding from U.S. taxpayers. The American government needs to let it be known that this lack of cooperation is not acceptable. This resolution will send that message.”

The alleged Stanford Ponzi sparked a banking crisis that rippled across the Caribbean and into Central and South America.  At least one autosurf made a veiled reference to the crisis in February.

BizAdSplash was one of three surfs that came to life in the months following the seizure of funds tied to AdSurfDaily Inc., a surf registered in the United States and accused of running a $100 million Ponzi scheme.

One of the key sales points of BizAdSplash was its purported offshore location. Two other surfs — AdViewGlobal and AdGateWorld — also bragged about being offshore. Promoters for the surfs said the offshore locations provided protection from the SEC, the IRS and state attorneys general. Promotions for the new surfs repeatedly referenced ASD.

“We want to let you know that even though our banks in Panama are closed for the next day and half, the payment processors are NOT CLOSED,” BizAdSplash said on Feb. 24. “You can still buy Ad Packages through your chosen payment processor. You will get your 100% match today and will continue into next week.

“So,” BizAdSplash continued, “if you purchased new Ad Packages yesterday from outside your Balance, you received a 100% matching bonus.

“This 100% matching bonus will continue on today, through the weekend and on through Friday, March 6th!!!” the surf exclaimed.

On Feb. 27 — just three days later — BizAdSplash told customers it was ending its affiliation with StrictPay, a payment processor with Panamanian ties.

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6 Responses to “Senators Ask For Sanctions Against Antigua For Stonewalling Receiver In Alleged Allen Stanford Ponzi Case”

  1. This isn’t the first time the US has gone up against Antigua, I wonder if it’ll go more the US’ way this time round:
    http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/journals/online_gambling_dispute.pdf
    http://www.igcouncil.org/content/view/79/99/

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  2. I guess we need to add certain governments in the Caribbean and in other tax havens to the list of ponzi “enablers”

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  3. Not all countries in the Caribbean region welcome ponzi schemes. One country that has been abused by ponzi schemes but has made some attempts to warn folk is Belize. Take a look at this list of warning notices:
    http://www.ifsc.gov.bz/notices.html

    At the time of writing, first on the list is GNI HOLDING S.A. aka GOLDNUGGET INVEST. This rings a bell with me. Has it been promoted recently by former ASD promoters? I’m sure I’ve seen a well known ponzi promoter advertising this to the punters, but I forget which one.

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  4. Hi Tony,

    Tony H: One country that has been abused by ponzi schemes but has made some attempts to warn folk is Belize. Take a look at this list of warning notices:
    http://www.ifsc.gov.bz/notices.html

    That Belize resource is excellent. Thanks for sharing.

    Panama — the purported home of some surf/HYIP firms — has a similar entity. It’s referenced in this story:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/10/15/breaking-news-sec-cftc-seek-to-smash-alleged-florida-based-ponzi-scheme-with-ties-to-panama-david-f-merrick-charged-with-unlawfully-acting-as-investment-adviser-and-operating-an-unregistered-forei/

    The SEC has used the Panama entity as a resource. And it’s worth noting that the FBI has a history that includes working closely with officials in Panama through the FBI’s Legal Attache office:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/11/19/breaking-news-prosecutors-allege-ponzi-murder-plot-jeffrey-lane-mowen-accused-of-soliciting-prisoner-to-kill-witnesses-in-multimillion-dollar-case-against-him/

    Patrick

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  5. I just remembered who was pimping GoldNugget Invest. It was someone who was promoting ASD, and have also promoted many, many other scams. No, not Simmons or Wyatt. It was TeamAaronShara, promoting it in September and October.

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  6. Tony,

    I see some of the natives were becoming restless about GNI in mid-November, and that someone shared the Belize info. This apparently coincided with some payment-processor troubles, and the usual amount of dreck from posters who questioned why anyone would have the gall to suggest GNI was not all it was cracked up to be.

    So, I guess the script never changes.

    There was a thread at the MMG forum, but I only took a quick look.

    Patrick

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