U.S. News

Regulator Tried to Steer Stanford Assets to Ally: Court


The top financial regulator in Antigua—who allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford in exchange for hiding the fraud—improperly tried to steer Stanford's assets to a British liquidation firm, according to a ruling by a Canadian court.

Leroy King, who was the head of Antigua's Financial Services Regulatory Commission, sought to put Vantis in charge of Stanford's assets on February 26, even though a U.S. court had already installed Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey as receiver ten days earlier.

The move set up a battle between Janvey and Vantis that continues to this day, with billions of dollars in investor funds caught in the middle, and may have given an ally of Stanford partial control of his assets even though Stanford had been accused of a massive fraud.

Allen Stanford

As a result, the Montreal Superior Court, one of several jurisdictions trying to unwind the Stanford empire, has revoked Vantis' authority as liquidator, citing what the court called "reprehensible conduct" by the firm.

Vantis was seeking to sell off Stanford's vast holdings in Antigua—infuriating investors who claimed the properties were bought with their money. But Janvey, the U.S. receiver, has also angered victims with his attempts to seize control of all the investors' remaining funds and distribute them among all investors.

A federal grand jury in Houston indicted King in June for his role in Stanford's alleged $8 billion Ponzi scheme. King remains in Antigua pending his extradition to the U.S.