- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
Politicians yet to return big money from Stanford’s Ponzi scam
Charity does no good for victims
Five years after R. Allen Stanford’s investment companies collapsed in an infamous multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, records show that the receiver charged with recouping money for victims still is chasing a long list of politicians.
Stanford was a generous and bipartisan donor to political campaigns. After his conviction, Ralph Janvey was appointed by the court as receiver and given the task of tracking down and recovering Stanford’s fraudulent expenditures so the money could be returned to the Ponzi scheme victims.
Some of the big donors have returned money, even if they had to be sued: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has returned $950,000, and the National Republican Congressional Committee gave back nearly $250,000.
But a number of other campaigns have not. By Mr. Janvey’s calculation, nearly $120,000 in tainted donations should go to creditors.
The Obama campaign has not returned $4,600, and Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas Republican, and the New Jersey Democratic State Committee each owes $10,000, according to the receiver’s most recent list.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Sessions said he has already gotten rid of money from Stanford, who is serving a 110-year prison sentence on fraud charges.
“Congressman Sessions donated to charity the dollar amount of all contributions from individuals charged in the case,” Sessions spokeswoman Torrie Miller wrote in an email.
Federal Election Commission rules allow politicians to disgorge unwanted or illegal donations by donating to charity, but that won’t get Mr. Sessions or any other lawmaker off of Mr. Janvey’s list.
“The money at issue did not rightfully belong to Mr. Stanford,” he said.
“It was not rightfully transferred to the political committees. And so the political committees are not entitled to decide that the money should be given to charity rather than given to the receiver for distribution to the victims from whom the money was taken in the first place.”
The DSCC and the NRCC, which have returned their money, did so only after losing arguments in court. In perhaps a rare example of Capitol Hill bipartisanship, the fundraising committees said Mr. Janvey’s demand wasn’t timely.
But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Mr. Janvey’s favor in October 2012.
The problem for Mr. Janvey now is that the donations that still haven’t been collected aren’t worth the expense of filing lawsuits. Most of the outstanding contributions are for a few thousand dollars each.
Other top recipients on the receiver’s list include Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, who received $6,000 from Stanford, and congressional Delegate Donna M. Christensen, a Democrat who represents the Virgin Islands and accepted $5,000 from him.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- HHS nominee got $1.2M at 'zero' salary job at Wal-Mart
- Federal workers watch 'Star Trek' on clock
- Sen. Menendez pal Salomon Melgen collected $20 million from Medicare
- U.S. picks up $700 million tab for coalition's food and laundry in Afghanistan
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.