WASHINGTON, D.C., USA: Victims of the Sir Allen Stanford alleged fraud are trying to block a loan the twin-island nation of Antigua & Barbuda has requested from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In its latest campaign against the Caribbean nation, the Stanford Victims Coalition (SVC), through lawyers from the New York firm Morgenstern & Blue LLC, has written to members of the United States Congress to get help blocking any IMF loan.
Antigua and Barbuda recently held talks with the Washington-based institution and are close to a final deal, although the amount it would receive has not yet been finalized.
However, the SVC, an international advocacy group formed after the collapse of Stanford’s empire, wants to prevent Antigua & Barbuda from getting any money unless it takes steps to compensate victims of the US$8 billion fraud which American authorities say Stanford committed through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank (SIB).
“We need your assistance in stopping the government of Antigua from avoiding responsibility for its role in this fraud, and actually profiting from it,” the SVC wrote to Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler.
The letter insisted the victims’ losses “flow directly from Antigua’s complicity in this massive fraud” and that it was “unconscionable” for the country to receive aid when there were victims of Stanford’s fraud in the U.S. who were not being compensated for their losses.
Antigua and Barbuda has been a target for Stanford investors ever since the disgraced billionaire was charged with fraud.
In July, SIB investors filed a lawsuit seeking up to US$24 billion in damages from the island’s government. The SVC said the lawsuit was a message to the Antigua government that it would be held accountable for trying “to turn a blind eye to the investors from around the world who have been devastated by this alleged crime”.
The group has also appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama in an attempt to recoup the money they’ve lost.