'Stanford Refugees' Finally Get Money Back

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Mar. 30, 2009 12:00 am  

Andrew and Susan Meadors of Little Rock waited more than a month for the return of assets frozen in the collapse of Stanford Financial Group.

The receiver, however, said in a March 2 court filing that the Stanford group of businesses was "extraordinarily complex" and included at least 175 different entities and more than 100 offices. On March 4, 21 Stanford clients filed a civil suit in federal court in Houston accusing the SEC and Janvey of wrongfully seizing their property.

The first accounts – those valued at less than $250,000 – were approved for release the next day, with most of the larger accounts approved on March 12. The Meadorses' accounts were in the first group, yet it took more than two weeks for the electronic transfer to be completed.

"Our money was kidnapped," Andrew Meadors said. "Life is stressful enough in 2009, and this is just unnecessary."

Matt Jones at Legacy Capital Group in Little Rock set up a transfer account for the Meadorses before Jim Alguire and his colleagues from Stanford landed at Sterne Agee & Leach in Little Rock. Andrew Meadors defends the Stanford advisers in Little Rock and says he'll eventually move his accounts back to Alguire.

"I believe that [Alguire] is innocent as far as having any idea of what they were doing down at Stanford International Bank," Meadors said. As evidence, he said, Alguire invested "a lot" of his own money in the Antiguan CDs.

The other Stanford advisers in Little Rock were "good guys," Meadors said. "And they are really mad. This is not L.A. or San Francisco," where financial advisers could move around freely without running into their clients or their clients' relatives. "This is Little Rock."

In March 1999, Meadors recalled, he and his friends called a "happy hour" to celebrate making $25,000 in the high-flying stock market in a single day.

"What a difference a decade makes," he said last week. "Now we're celebrating getting our own money back."    



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