Securities Law Updates | New Releases/No Action Letters

February 28, 2013

Former Executives of Stanford Financial Group Entities Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Roles in Fraud Scheme

USA v. Stanford ,et al.
DOJ No.13-200, Case No. 4:09cr342, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2/14/2013

Former Executives of Stanford Financial Group Entities Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Roles in Fraud Scheme

Gilbert T. Lopez Jr., the former chief accounting officer of Stanford Financial Group Company, and Mark J. Kuhrt, the former global controller of Stanford Financial Group Global Management, have each been sentenced to 20 years in prison for their roles in helping Robert Allen Stanford perpetrate a fraud scheme involving Stanford International Bank (SIB).  Both were convicted by a Houston federal jury on Nov. 19, 2012.

The sentences were announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas; FBI Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the Criminal Investigative Division; Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Phyllis C. Borzi; Chief Postal Inspector Guy J. Cottrell; and Special Agent in Charge Lucy Cruz of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

The trial against Lopez and Kuhrt spanned five weeks.  After approximately three days of deliberations, the jury found both Lopez, 70, and Kuhrt, 40, both of Houston, guilty of 10 of 11 counts in the indictment.  Each defendant was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.  Each was found not guilty on one wire fraud count.  Both defendants were taken into custody immediately following the jury’s verdict.

In addition to the prison terms, U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who presided over the trial, sentenced Lopez and Kuhrt to serve three years of supervised release and ordered Lopez to pay a $25,000 fine.  At a hearing held last week, Judge Hittner also found that both defendants obstructed justice by committing perjury at trial.

Stanford, who was previously convicted in a separate trial, illegally used billions of dollars of SIB’s assets to fund his personal business ventures, to live a lavish lifestyle and for other improper purposes.  He was later sentenced to 110 years in prison. James M. Davis, Stanford’s chief financial officer – who pleaded guilty and cooperated with the government soon after SIB was shut down in February 2009 and testified at both Stanford’s trial and the trial of Lopez and Kuhrt – was sentenced to 60 months in prison for his role in the scheme.

The evidence presented at Lopez and Kuhrt’s trial established that they were aware of and tracked Stanford’s misuse of SIB’s assets, kept the misuse hidden from the public and from almost all of Stanford’s other employees and worked behind the scenes to prevent the misuse from being discovered.

They also helped Stanford falsely represent to SIB customers during the economic crash in late 2008 that Stanford had infused hundreds of millions of dollars into SIB when he had not.  As part of that effort, Lopez and Kuhrt helped design a fraudulent real estate transaction that involved falsely inflating parcels of land purchased at $63.5 million to a purported value of $3.2 billion.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS-CI and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.  The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Jeffrey Goldberg and Trial Attorney Andrew Warren of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Varnado of the Southern District of Texas.

Also See:

FINRA Issues New Investor Alert: The IRA Rollover: 10 Tips to Making a Sound Decision

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Agencies Approve Interim Final Rule Authorizing Retention of Interests in and Sponsorship of Collateralized Debt Obligations Backed Primarily by Bank-Issued Trust Preferred Securities

Interpretive Guidance on Municipal Advisor Registration Rules Now Out

New Date Announced for Compliance with Final Municipal Advisor Registration Rules

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The following companies are mentioned in Securities Law Updates:

Securities and Exchange Commission

Harris Associates, L.P.

Banc of America Securities LLC

Citicorp USA, Inc.

The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi

Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.

Jan Charles Finance S.A.

Park East, Inc.

CIBC World Markets Corp.

Citigroup Inc.

Barclays Capital Inc.

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

TD Securities (USA), Inc.

BMO Nesbitt Burns Corp. n.k.a. Harris Nesbitt Burns Corp.

Consolidated Leasing Hugoton Joint Venture #2

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Professional Corporation

Consolidated Leasing Anadarko Joint Venture

W. R. Huff Asset Management Co., LLC

Guardian Capital Management

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

Vesta Insurance Group, Inc.

Free Enterprise Fund

Banc of America, N.A.

Torchmark Corp.

Beckstead and Watts, LLP

Barclays Bank PLC

KPMG Peat Marwick, LLP

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

BNY Capital Markets, Inc.

Florida State Board of Administration

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC

Credit Lyonnais Securities (USA) Inc.

The Cleaners & Caulkers Local 1 Pension Fund

Credit Suisse, New York Branch

Ameriprise Financial, Inc. f.k.a. American Express Financial Corp.

Deutsche Bank AG

California Department of Corporations

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

RiverSource Investments, LLC

Harris Nesbitt Corp.

Consolidated Management Group, LLC

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Asset Management Holding AG

Deutsche Bank

Toronto Dominion Texas, LLC f.k.a. Toronto Dominion Texas, Inc.

Alex Brown, Inc.

Tellabs, Inc.

Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.

Mizuho International PLC

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