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Law Firm Erases Its Stanford Ties

Posted by: Matthew Goldstein on February 24

The law firm Hunton & Williams is trying hard to put some distance between itself and disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford.

Up until a week ago, the national law firm with more than 1,000 attorneys boasted about some of its past legal work for the Texas native’s Stanford Financial Group. The Hunton website had included some brief summaries of past legal victories for Stanford Financial, which had been a major client of the law firm’s Miami office.

But the firm’s website appears to have been scrubbed clean of any references to Stanford Financial, ever since the SEC filed civil fraud charges against the 58-year-old billionaire. A law firm spokeswoman declined to comment on the website.

Most notably, the firm has removed a web page that discussed a court victory that Hunton lawyers won for Stanford in a legal tussle with two Mexican citizens. The Mexican nationals were identified by US and Mexican authorities in 1998 as having helped hide money for a major Mexican drug cartel. The page is now blank, but a cache version can still be found on Google.

The Mexican citizens filed the lawsuit several years after Stanford’s offshore bank in Antigua voluntarily surrendered the alleged $3 million in drug money to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. The February 1999 deal between the DEA and Stanford International Bank was hailed by US authorities as a major victory. At the time, Stanford was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying the decision to turnover the money to the DEA “was the right thing to do morally, and it’s legal thing to do.’’

Stanford has been much more circumspect since being civilly charged by the SEC. The normally flamboyant financier hasn’t been seen in public and hasn’t issued any comments. Meanwhile, a Hunton spokeswoman says the firm is not representing Stanford Financial in the SEC case.

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



BusinessWeek's Adrienne Carter, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, and David Henry deconstruct the mysteries of high finance, Wall Street, and hedge funds for pros and ordinary investors. E-mail them directly if you've got tips about big deals, a hedge fund, or even securities industry gossip.

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