Former Stanford Exec Sues Attorney for Malpractice

The former chief investment officer for Stanford Financial—who is charged with obstructing the Security and Exchange Commission's investigation of the firm—has sued her attorney and his firm for malpractice.

Laura Pendergest-Holt claims attorney Thomas Sjoblom of Proskauer Rose, who prepared her for her testimony before the SEC, acted not in her best interests, but instead was "acting in the 'best interests' of Allen Stanford and the Stanford Companies." As a result, according to the suit, Pendergest-Holt was not advised that she had a Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

Following her testimony on February 10, Pendergest-Holt was charged in a criminal complaint with obstructing the SEC investigation by giving false testimony.

She is the only person thus far to be criminally charged in the Stanford scandal. Pendergest-Holt's suit says she is "completely and absolutely innocent of the charges."

Sjoblum and Proskauer-Rose were not immediately available for comment.