Stanford’s receiver war

By Felix Salmon
April 6, 2009

Alex Dalmady, who first revealed to the public that Stanford International Bank was a Ponzi scheme, has a very handy post up about what he’s calling the “receiver war” between Antigua and the US.

While most of the press coverage of the Stanford case has concentrated on the goings-on in the US, the fact remains that Stanford International Bank is an Antiguan entity, and the Antiguan authorities and receivers therefore have most of the real ability to get things done. It’s improbable that Stanford himself is going to be tried in Antigua: when the criminal complaint finally comes down, he will be arrested and tried in the US. But if Stanford’s depositors (including, it is rumored, Libya) are looking for money rather than justice, they should be looking to Antigua rather than the US.

And that’s not just because the CDs were in Antigua; it’s also because the IRS is senior to other claimants in the US. Stanford owes the IRS $227 million, which likely represents the bulk of Stanford International Bank’s recoverable funds. If those funds stay in Antigua, they can be distributed to the bank’s depositors. But if they go to the US, then they’re likely to disappear into the maw of the taxman.

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