A Dallas federal civil court jury found that a former Stanford Financial Group executive failed to act in the best interests of the Antigua bank at the heart of a global, multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Losses worldwide were estimated at as much as $7 billion, with about $1 billion suffered by about 1,000 investors in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Covington areas.
The jury in the civil case found that Patricia Maldonado, Stanford Financial’s treasury manager from 2000 to 2009, failed to protect the interests of Stanford International Bank Ltd. in connection with numerous improper transfers from customer accounts. Those transfers included more than $200 million funneled to a secret Swiss bank account that documents said convicted swindler Allen Stanford and his former Chief Financial Officer, James Davis, ultimately used to pay bribes to auditors and regulators. The transfers were part of a scheme that stole billions from investors in Baton Rouge and worldwide.
The jury also concluded that Maldonado caused $50 million in damages to the bank by failing to protect its interests.
It’s unclear whether Maldonado will have to cover any of those damages.
Attorneys for Baker Botts LLP, who represent the bank’s court-appointed receiver, and Maldonado are in discussions, said Joseph F. Colvin Jr., one of Maldonado’s attorneys, who said he had no further comment.
The bank sold certificates of deposit that Stanford and others told investors were as safe as CDs from a U.S. bank. But the money for the Stanford bank’s CDs paid for Allen Stanford’s lavish lifestyle.
The Stanford Ponzi scheme was the second-largest in U.S. history. In these scams, early investors are paid dividends on their investments, but the payments usually come from a small portion of later investors’ money. As word of the fake profits spreads, more investors are sucked in, allowing the Ponzi criminals to pocket even more cash.
Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison for his 2012 conviction. Last month, Stanford filed a lengthy appeal with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.