According to the prosecutor’s office, the financier managed to deceive clients for about $7 billion; he served a 110-year sentence for fraud.
Swiss authorities will return to the United States about $200 million confiscated in the case of financier Allen Stanford, who is serving a 110-year sentence for fraud in this country. As reported on Monday by the Federal Office of Justice of Switzerland, part of the funds has already been transferred to the US authorities. By the end of December, the remaining $150 million will be returned.
“Switzerland is returning about $200 million to the United States in one of the largest frauds in American history. The funds will be transferred to the victims,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
The Justice Department explained this restitution was made possible by the entry into force of the sentence under which Stanford was convicted. Bern recalled that from 2001 to 2008, the financier “deceived thousands of investors through a pyramid system organized by him for more than $7 billion.” In 2012, he was sentenced to 110 years in prison in the United States. The funds were confiscated for the benefit of the victims.
Switzerland has supported the United States in conducting a criminal investigation. The Justice Department handed over to the US authorities “important bank documents relating to various Swiss bank accounts and ordered the seizure” of funds held in these accounts. In 2019, after the relevant court decision came into force in the United States, the Swiss agency took steps to return the blocked funds to this country. On October 16, 2020, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court rejected the appeal against returning the funds.
US authorities uncovered Stanford’s criminal scheme in early 2009. According to the investigation, for more than 20 years, the swindler managed the Stanford Financial Group Corporation created by him in Houston, which operated on a financial pyramid principle. Through the Antigua and Barbuda-registered Stanford Financial Bank, the fraudster sold securities that guaranteed investors a high-interest rate in the future. The funds invested in the company by new shareholders were used to pay off those who started working with the company earlier. As a result, investors who contacted the company later than anyone else did not receive any dividends. According to the prosecutor’s office, in this way, Stanford managed to deceive customers for about $7 billion. The financier’s personal fortune was estimated at $2 billion.
In the summer of 2009, the FBI arrested Stanford, and his company was liquidated. Due to health problems, the trial of the financier was repeatedly postponed.