Posted 6/11/2012 12:00 am
Updated 11 months ago
Stanford on Trial
Federal prosecutors said last week that it would be "impracticable" to enforce a restitution order against "Sir" Allen Stanford, the Texas Ponzi schemer whose victims included scores of Arkansans.
While the Justice Department just wants to divide up assets seized after Stanford was arrested, a couple of those local victims are looking to a former Stanford agent for their satisfaction.
The first and possibly the only trial scheduled in Arkansas over the phony certificates of deposit sold by Stanford International Bank of Antigua is set for July 10 in U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James G. Mixon's courtroom in Little Rock.
Nancy McGraw bought CDs worth $112,000 and Pfeifer Sutter Family LLC bought $270,000 in CDs on the advice of their financial adviser, Christopher Collier, who worked at the Stanford Financial Group office in Little Rock.
After Collier filed for bankruptcy in July 2010, McGraw and Pfeifer Sutter claimed he defrauded them and objected to having their claims discharged in bankruptcy.
"Mr. Collier told Ms. Mc-
Graw, Luther Sutter, and Pamela Pfeifer that the money was to be invested in alleged Certificates of Deposit with Stanford Bank that were FDIC insured," ac-cording to the lawsuit filed by Little Rock attorney O.C. "Rusty" Sparks. "This was intentional-ly false. Plaintiffs reasonably relied upon this representation to their detriment. Had they known the truth, Plaintiffs would not have invested any money with Mr. Collier."
According to the complaint, Collier solicited the investments in November 2007 - the same month that FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, warned Stanford not to market the securities as CDs. "Yet this is precisely what Mr. Collier did and continued to do in a willful, wanton, and reckless manner."
Collier has denied the accusations. Otherwise, his bankruptcy attorney, Frederick S. "Tripp" Wetzel III of Little Rock, had little to add,
"All I can say is it's set for trial," he said.
And while a month can be like dog years in the legal system, Sparks said he believed the trial would commence as scheduled.