Bloomberg News

Stanford Bank Liquidators Dispute Predecessor’s $18 Million Fee

October 12, 2011

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The firm originally appointed to wind up R. Allen Stanford’s bank charged $18 million in fees while recovering around $300,000 for victims of the fraud, according Grant Thornton LLP, the bank’s new liquidator which is seeking to have the bill reduced.

Grant Thornton partner Hugh Dickson said his firm was challenging the Vantis Plc bill in an Antigua court. “We are trying to reduce that number considerably,” he said.

Vantis, which was removed as Antiguan liquidator of Stanford International Bank in May, has asked a court to approve its fees. The firm recovered around $300,000 of assets before being replaced, Grant Thornton said in a Web presentation to Stanford creditors and victims yesterday.

Efforts in the U.S. and Antigua to unwind Stanford’s alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme have produced little to return to victims and creditors. As of January, U.S-appointed receiver Ralph Janvey had freed up $94.7 million in cash and filed lawsuits with a potential value of $595 million. Stanford is in custody in the U.S and is to be tried for fraud next year.

An Antiguan judge replaced Vantis in May following a request by creditors. Vantis went into administration last year. Its business-recovery operations were bought out by former managers and was renamed FRP Advisory LLP.

“We are in dialogue with Grant Thornton regarding the costs incurred prior to them taking office,” FRP partner Nigel Hamilton Smith said. “Our main objective is to find a sensible solution, which does not result in lengthy court time and further delays.”

Grant Thornton has identified up to $1.5 billion which it wants to return to more than 20,000 Stanford victims and creditors it represents, the firm said yesterday. That figure includes property valued at $300 million, securities worth $250 million and potential returns of as much as $1 billion from lawsuits.

--Editors: Christopher Scinta, Anthony Aarons

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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