Investment advisory Stanford clients to get money back

Houston Chronicle:

A limited number of Stanford Financial Group clients may be able to regain access to their funds soon, the court appointed receiver said Monday.

Clients who turned to Stanford only for investment strategy advice will no longer have their assets frozen under the temporary restraining order, which was issued last week by a federal judge in Dallas when the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against several units of the Houston-based firm and three top executives.

A statement released Monday by the receiver, Dallas lawyer Ralph Janvey, is complicated and says more about who can’t get access to their money than who can.

The asset thaw will not benefit clients who had company-managed accounts or invested in Stanford’s branded mutual funds or the certificates of deposits in a Caribbean bank that are at the center of the SEC complaint.

The receiver’s announcement seemed to indicate accounts under the custodianship of the clearing banks Pershing and J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp. will also remain frozen.

The statement said the unfrozen assets are ones in which Stanford “does not provide custody for these accounts, does not maintain books and records pertaining to the assets, and does not provide the client with individual transaction statements or periodic holdings statements.”

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My main surprise at this is that these accounts could have been frozen to begin with. My second surprise is that people would consider the investment advice, from a company that would not reveal its sources and methods, of any value to begin with. It is possible that the securities help by the clearing banks may be rolled into the overall receivership. Many of these securities may exist only as a data entry on the books.

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