Lawmakers press DOJ to help victims of Ponzi scheme

Lawmakers press DOJ to help victims of Ponzi scheme
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Seven lawmakers on Monday asked the Justice Department to investigate whether a Swiss bank is illegally blocking the transfer of restitution funds for victims of the second-largest Ponzi scheme in United States history.

In a Monday letter, representatives from both parties asked Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDemocratic senator to offer amendment halting 'military weaponry' given to police The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump tweets as tensions escalate across US Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE to review whether Swiss bank Societe Generale is complying with a 2013 settlement meant to return a major portion of $210 million to victims of Allen Stanford’s pyramid investment scheme.

The lawmakers asked Sessions “to review this issue and re-engage on behalf of U.S. victims to expedite the return of the frozen assets so they can be properly distributed.”

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Stanford stole billions from customers who thought they were purchasing certificates of deposit with Antiguan Stanford International Bank. But Stanford enriched himself off the $8 billion investment scheme; he was convicted of charges in 2012 and is now serving a 110-year sentence in federal prison.

Groups representing Stanford’s victims are suing several banks that Stanford used to transfer American dollars into private offshore accounts. An affiliate of Societe Generale held roughly $210 million of the stolen money, much of which was supposed to be transferred to U.S and Antiguan officials for later restitution to victims. 

The signatories on Monday's letter were Louisiana Reps. Mike Johnson (R) and Cedric Richmond (D), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Texas Reps. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertConservative lawmakers press Trump to suspend guest worker programs for a year Gohmert rails against allowing proxy voting over 'wishy washy' fear of dying Positive coronavirus cases shake White House MORE (R), Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeePelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' Impeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook's new oversight board Texas House Dems ask governor to issue stay-at-home order MORE (D), Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Texas New Members 2019 MORE (R) and John Ratcliffe (R).

Monday’s letter is the second effort in two weeks from lawmakers to ask executive branch officials to intervene in the Stanford aftermath.

Four members of the House Financial Services Committee asked Acting Comptroller Keith Noreika to review TD Bank’s role in Stanford’s scheme.