Stanford Lawyer Hits SEC ‘Storm Troopers,’ Says His Client is No Madoff
Posted Mar 27, 2009 6:21 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Houston lawyer Dick DeGuerin is going on the offensive as he takes on a new client—billionaire R. Allen Stanford, accused of running an $8 billion Ponzi scheme.
In interviews with Bloomberg, Business Week and the Houston Chronicle, DeGuerin said Stanford is no Bernard Madoff, who has pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that cost investors $65 billion in losses. And he criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission, which claims in a civil suit that Stanford came up with a figure for investor returns on certificates of deposit each month at his Antigua bank and asked internal accountants to draft financial statements to match.
Stanford is "not a swindler,” DeGuerin told Bloomberg. “This isn’t a Ponzi scheme. He was able to pay back every investor until the regulators came in like storm troopers, caused a panic, and his banks got nationalized in Venezuela and Antigua. …
“The SEC has cremated the Stanford companies and Stanford, partly to get over the embarrassment at their lack of oversight in the Madoff case,’’ DeGuerin said. “But this isn’t anything like Madoff. …
“There were hard assets behind every dollar invested in his bank,’’ he said. “Sure, the stock market crash hit him, but it didn’t hit him any harder than anybody else. His returns were in line with what the stock market indexes lost.”
At this point, DeGuerin is representing Stanford even though his client has no access to funds for legal fees because his assets are frozen. DeGuerin is asking a court for release of enough money to fund Stanford's defense. “It’s not fair that the government can come take everything away, and not even leave you money for a lawyer,’’ DeGuerin told Bloomberg. “That’s un-American.”