U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), ranking Republican on the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, along with Senators Vitter (R-LA), Hutchison (R-TX), Cochran (R-MS), Cornyn (R-TX), Isakson (R-GA), Wicker (R-MS), and Shaheen (D-NH), introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the United States Executive Directors to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose making any loans to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda until that Government cooperates with the United States and compensates the victims of the Stanford Financial Group fraud.
Allen Stanford is known to have had close ties with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, and is alleged, among other things, to have loaned that government at least $85,000,000, which presumably came from Stanford investor funds. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is refusing to cooperate with the U.S. receiver in charge of gathering the assets of the Stanford Financial Group and distributing them to victims of the fraud. Despite this lack of cooperation in providing recourse to investors in the Stanford Financial Group, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is currently seeking loans from the IMF and World Bank, both of which receive significant funding from the United States Government.
"The Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Allen Stanford cheated thousands of people, many of them in the United States, out of their investments," Shelby said. "It is essential that to the extent possible these victims get their money back. It is absurd that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is standing in the way of helping victims, while also holding out its hand for funding. This resolution makes clear that the United States will not accept such behavior."
"It's unbelievable that a government so intertwined in the allegations against Mr. Stanford has the audacity to ask for money from the IMF and World Bank. Not only was one of Antigua's regulators allegedly a part of Mr. Stanford's ponzi scheme, but the Antiguan government has taken over more than 250 acres of Stanford's property and they have refused to work with the US court appointed receiver. Antigua shouldn't see a dime of money from the US, IMF or World Bank until the victims of this fraud have first been helped," said Vitter.
"I urge the U.S. Treasury Secretary to work with the International Monetary Fund to seek cooperation from Antigua and Barbuda in order to compensate the victims of the Stanford Financial Group fraud," Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said.
"Instead of stonewalling efforts to recover assets linked to the scam perpetrated by Allen Stanford and his firm, the government of Antigua and Barbuda should join U.S. and international organizations in trying to find some measure of justice for victims. Government officials in Antigua and Barbuda must understand that their lack of cooperation is unacceptable," said U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
"Allen Stanford's investment schemes devastated countless Texans. The IMF should not loan money to Antigua unless Antigua agrees to cooperate in reimbursing these innocent investors to the fullest extent possible," said Senator Cornyn.
"Allen Stanford bilked billions of dollars from innocent Americans through his ponzi scheme, and the laws of Antigua shielded the Stanford Financial Group while it operated," said Senator Isakson. "As long as the Government of Antigua and Barbuda holds assets of Stanford that are not available to the U.S. receiver, it should not receive any funding from the U.S. or the IMF and World Bank. The injured American families deserve no less."
"Thousands of people have been victimized by the Stanford Ponzi scheme, including many who lost their life savings," Wicker said. "The cooperation of the Antigua government is essential to helping the victims of this fraud, but this assistance has been consistently denied. It is completely unacceptable for Antigua to receive any loan from the IMF and the World Bank, both of which receive significant funding from U.S. taxpayers. The American government needs to let it be known that this lack of cooperation is not acceptable. This resolution will send that message."