(Adds comment from lawyer)
By Anna Driver
HOUSTON, April 15 The lawyer overseeing the
assets and operations of Stanford Financial Group filed a
lawsuit on Wednesday to recover $40 million in pay the firm's
advisers earned selling certificates of deposit regulators say
are at the heart of an $8 billion fraud.
Ralph Janvey, the court-appointed receiver, is seeking pay
from 66 advisers named in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District
Court in Dallas.
Allen Stanford, two top aides and three of his companies
are accused by U.S. regulators of a massive Ponzi scheme
involving high-yield certificates of deposit issued by
Stanford's Antigua bank.
The commissions and other compensation paid to the advisers
"came not from revenue generated by legitimate business
activities, but from monies contributed by defrauded
investors," the lawsuit said.
Over the last two years, the Stanford advisers named in the
lawsuit received commissions ranging from $2.6 million to
$200,000 to promote the sale of the certificates of deposit
(CDs), according to Janvey.
Michael Stanley, a Houston lawyer representing a number of
Stanford advisers, said some of them bought the CDs "for
themselves and their families," and were victims of the fraud.
"The receiver who represents the Stanford companies is, in
essence, suing employees for passing along information that was
given to them by the company. It doesn't make sense," Stanley
Stanford advisers and company literature touted the CDs as
a safe, liquid investment when the funds were actually invested
in illiquid assets like real estate and private equity, the SEC
The Stanford firm was able to keep the scheme going for a
time by using a portion of funds from current CD sales to make
interest and redemption payments on preexisting CDs, the
But in late 2008 and early 2009, redemptions increased to
the point that new sales were inadequate to cover redemptions
and the scheme collapsed, according to the lawsuit.
At a meeting in early March, a number of Stanford advisors
said they were unaware of the fraud and also suffering
financially because Janvey had frozen their accounts.
Some have petitioned the court to have their accounts
Allen Stanford and his lawyers have said he was not
involved in a Ponzi scheme, where early investors are paid with
funds from later investors.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Bernard Orr and Andre