Victims of R. Allen Stanford's alleged Ponzi scheme have another party to contend with as they try to recover some of their funds: Stanford's estranged wife. Susan Stanford, who filed for divorce in late 2007 after 33 years of marriage, says she should be entitled to half of Stanford's property.
In a court filing on Wednesday, Susan Stanford's attorneys acknowledge all of the property "may ultimately prove to be the proceeds of fraud and Susan Stanford may be entitled to nothing." Nonetheless, the filing argues, she should have a say in how the assets are distributed.
A court-appointed Reciever took control of all of Allen Stanford's assets on February 17, the day the SEC sued Stanford and his companies for an alleged "massive" fraud.
The Receiver, Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey, has been developing plans to distribute what remains of Stanford's assets, as has a court-appointed liquidator in Antigua, where the fraud was allegedly centered.
Mrs. Stanford notes that under Texas community property law, she should be entitled to half of any "legitimately obtained" property, "whatever that may prove to be." Her attorneys argue she should be allowed to help make that determination, because "the Court cannot expect...an estranged husband (alleged by some to be the biggest con man since Henry Gondorff) to adequately protect" her interests.
Henry Gondorff was the character played by Paul Newman in the 1973 film "The Sting." Allen and Susan Stanford were married in 1975, but have reportedly been separated for years. She filed for divorce in November of 2007.
In a preliminary judgment early last year, a Texas court awarded Mrs. Stanford "temporary spousal support" of $100,000 per month, as well as three cars of her choice, and full access to Stanford's yacht, his fleet of jets, and the Stanford luxury suite at Houston's Toyota Center.
However, the divorce proceedings have been stalled by the freeze on Stanford's assets.