Sorry Bellagio - Stanford's cash drawer is empty!

Sep 7, 2009 7:35 PM
by Ray Poirier | High-living Sir Allen Stanford (he was knighted by the queen) enjoyed spending the multi-millions (billions?) of dollars he allegedly swindled people out of in a Ponzi deal reminiscent of master-swindler Bernard Madoff.

So Stanford didn’t hesitate to sign markers at the Bellagio Resort on the Las Vegas Strip last January when he was enjoying a birthday treat arranged by his girlfriend.

By February, however, Stanford was behind bars charged with bilking investors out of an estimated $7 billion through his Stanford Group Co., based in Houston, Texas. The Securities & Exchange Commission filed fraud charges and the courts froze all Stanford’s assets.

Because of the freeze, Stanford, who faces a 21-count criminal indictment, says he is now broke and can’t repay the $258,480 in markers.

This probably will leave the Bellagio, owned by MGM MIRAGE Inc., standing in a long line of creditors.

As for Stanford investors, who purchased certificates of deposit from the company’s offshore bank in Antigua, they’re probably out of luck, as far as their CDs are concerned.

Although investors allege that the certificates were sold as insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC), insurance officials have already announced that there was no insurance and the certificates are worthless.

So the Bellagio lawsuit seeking repayment probably will have a lot of company in the courts.