U.S. News

Stanford Investors' Names Going to Tax Probe

The court-appointed receiver rounding up assets in the alleged Ponzi scheme at the Stanford Financial Group says he will comply with a request from the Justice Department's Tax Division for the names and account information of thousands of Stanford investors.

Casey Serin

The Justice Department on Wednesday said it was seeking a "John Doe Summons" for information on Stanford investors dating back to 2002 in an investigation into whether those investors underpaid their taxes.

The move potentially adds insult to injury for the investors, who were allegedly fleeced to the tune of up to $8 billion. Now, federal investigators are apparently looking into whether the investors owe back taxes on money that was allegedly stolen from them.

The receiver, Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey, said in a statement late Wednesday, "I will comply with any appropriate regulatory request." The statement did not say whether Janvey had yet received the summons, which must be approved by a federal court.

A Justice Department spokeswoman told CNBC the request is separate from the criminal investigation of Stanford and its CEO, Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, who is charged with 21 felony counts.

The tax investigation is similar to the case against UBS of Switzerland, which has yielded the names of thousands of suspected tax cheats holding offshore accounts.

In the Stanford case, the investors purchased certificates of deposit issued by Stanford's offshore bank in Antigua. According to court filings, the IRS says it has evidence suggesting that year-end tax statements the bank issued to clients did not include interest and other income from the CD's.

Justice Department officials would not comment on whether the tax investigation, which is being carried out on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service, would affect the criminal case. Nor would they say whether they are targeting Stanford's alleged victims, Stanford employees who also had investment accounts with the firm, or others.