Feb 1 (Reuters) - The receiver for the money
management firm founded by Texas financier Allen Stanford, who
is on trial for investment fraud, has filed a $1.8 billion lawsuit against two prominent New York law firms and an attorney
who worked at both, alleging they played roles in a massive
Ponzi scheme run by Stanford.
Ralph Janvey, the court-appointed receiver for Stanford
Financial Group, filed suit on Friday in federal court in
Washington against the law firm Proskauer Rose, the law firm
Chadbourne & Parke, and Thomas Sjoblom.
The lawsuit alleges that while working at the firms,
Sjoblom helped Stanford defraud more than 30,000 investors by
issuing $7 billion worth of bogus certificates of deposit.
Sjoblom was a partner at Chadbourne & Parke from 2002 to 2006
and at Proskauer Rose from 2006 to 2009.
The lawsuit also alleges that Stanford Financial lost at
least $1.8 billion because Sjoblom, a 20-year veteran of the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement division,
thwarted a federal investigation into the company. The lawsuit
further alleges that the two law firms failed to properly
supervise Sjoblom's work.
"Sjoblom spearheaded an effort to evade investigation," Guy
Hohmann, the attorney representing Janvey, said on Wednesday.
Proskauer Rose said in a statement, "The claims asserted
against the firm are completely without merit. We will address
them in the appropriate forum."
A spokesman for Chadbourne & Parke said, "These are the same
allegations that we've seen previously. There is nothing new
here. Prior litigation against our firm regarding Stanford was
dismissed, and we do not believe this latest attempt should be
any more successful."
Sjoblom did not respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit seeks $1.8 billion in actual damages plus
Federal prosecutors in Stanford's trial allege that he sold
phony CDs from his bank in Antigua and used the money to finance
a lavish lifestyle. Stanford's attorney, Robert Scardino, has
asserted that his client was an astute businessman whose company
was ruined when the government seized it in 2009.
Neither Sjoblom nor the two law firms have been charged with
The three defendants named in the lawsuit filed by Janvey
also face at least six class-action lawsuits in Texas filed by
Stanford Financial Group investors who claim that Sjoblom
conspired to defraud them and that the law firms failed to keep
tabs on his activities.
The case is Janvey v. Proskauer Rose, U.S. District Court
for the District of Columbia, 12-CV-00155.
For the plaintiff: Guy Hohmann with Hohmann, Taube &
For the defendants: Not immediately available.
(Reporting by Leigh Jones; Additional reporting by Erin Geiger
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