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Stanford Receiver Proposes Claims Process for Victims

The Receiver tasked with marshaling and distributing assets to victims of R. Allen Stanford's alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme has filed papers asking a U.S. judge to approve a proposed plan to review and pay claims by victims. In a filing in the Northern District of Texas (the "Motion"), Receiver Ralph Janvey asked United States District Judge David Godbey to (1) establish a bar date for potential claims; (2) approve the form and manner of the notice to be sent to potential victims; and (3) approve the proof of claim form and other procedures associated with the submission of the proof of claim by victims.  

According to the Motion, Janvey seeks a "Claims Bar Date" established as 180 days from the entry of the enclosed proposed order affirming Janvey's plan for the claims process.  Specifically, victims would have until 5:00 P.M. Central Standard Time on the date 180 days after Judge Godbey approves Janvey's proposed plan.  The Receiver plans to provide notice of the claims process by mail, email, publication, and inquiry to any interested parties.  The Motion also specifically directed that any victim who has previously filed a claim in the liquidation proceedings in Antigua and Bermuda in conjunction with Stanford International Bank, Ltd. is not relieved from the obligation to file a claim with Janvey in order to preserve any potential entitlement to a future distribution of assets in the United States proceeding.  A "Claimant Form" filed by an individual or entity on the Stanford Receiver website before the entry of Judge Godbey's order affirming the claims process will be treated as a timely and sufficient Proof of Claim Form but may require future additional documentation.  

While the Motion does not elaborate on the expected amount of funds available for future distribution, Janvey's recent Third Interim Report, filed November 11, indicated that the Receivership had $114.5 million of cash on hand and $96.6 million in assets as of October 31, 2011.  Additionally, the Report estimates that nearly $1 billion of external assets could potentially be recovered for the benefit of victims.  However, language in the Motion alludes to the expectation that total recovered assets will likely fall below that of investor's original invested principal:

With limited proceeds available for distribution, the Claims Procedures will ensure that the available proceeds are maximized and distributed to Claimants that hold valid Claims and that submitted proofs of claim prior to the deadline for doing so.  
Finally, Janvey states in the motion that the ultimate methodology used to calculate the exact amount of victim claims has not yet been established, "although for investor claimants, the amount of the investor’s net investment in the ponzi scheme will be one of the most significant factors."  The Net Investment Method, widely used in Ponzi proceedings, including the Madoff bankruptcy, sets a victim's claim as the total amount of principal investments minus any withdrawals over the course of the scheme. Victims who withdraw more than the amount of their principal investment ("net winners") are typically relegated to a subordinate status than "net loser" victims.  Additionally, those "net winners" may even find themselves the target of a clawback suit seeking to recover any funds withdrawn in excess of the principal investment.  
A copy of the Motion Seeking Approval of the Claims Process is here.
A copy of the Receiver's Third Interim Report is here.


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