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Switzerland says US will get $150M related to Ponzi scheme by the end of the year

Switzerland says US will get $150M related to Ponzi scheme by the end of the year
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Switzerland’s Federal Ministry of Justice said on Monday that the U.S. will get $150 million from previously blocked bank accounts by the end of 2020 to go to victims of Ponzi scheme artist Robert Allen Stanford

The justice ministry announced that the Swiss criminal court’s October rejection of appeals in the case attempting to stop asset seizures allows for the $150 million to be returned before December ends on Thursday, Reuters reported

Stanford, a former Texas financier, was convicted in Houston in 2012 of a $7.2 billion fraud scheme spanning 20 years and sentenced to 110 years in prison. The justice ministry reported that about $50 million has already been given back. 

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The financier put millions from his Stanford International Bank in the Swiss branch of the French Societe Generale bank. He used that money to buy private jets and a 100-foot yacht, Reuters reported, citing 2012 court documents   

“The release [of the blocked funds] became possible after the American financier Allen Stanford’s fraud conviction became permanent,” the justice ministry reportedly said. 

U.S. federal prosecutors had alleged that Stanford sent $116 million in proceeds “through a Swiss slush fund he controlled at Societe Generale.” The bank repeatedly denied assertions that it did not sufficiently follow anti-money laundering obligations in taking in Stanford’s money, Reuters reported, citing Swiss court documents.