Stanford's Antigua bank deep in the red: receivers

HOUSTON Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:13am EDT

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Stanford International Bank Ltd, which has been placed in liquidation, has far more liabilities than assets, the U.K. receivers appointed to oversee the company's Antiguan operations said on Thursday.

Texan Allen Stanford and two of his aides are charged with an $8 billion fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The alleged scheme involved high-yield certificates of deposit issued by the Antigua bank, regulators said.

"It quickly became apparent that there were a large number of investors seeking to withdraw funds and the bank's cash reserves were wholly inadequate," Nigel Hamilton-Smith, the bank's receiver said in a statement. "It is also now apparent that the assets of SIB are insufficient to meet the level of liabilities."

The liquidators said they are unable to forecast the extent of the bank's deficit at this time, but it is likely to be substantial.

Hamilton-Smith and Peter Wastell, partners at Vantis Business Recovery Services, a division of Vantis, were named joint liquidators for Stanford International Bank Ltd on April 15 by an Antiguan court.

The bank's accounts will remain frozen as the receivers continue their hunt for funds, and the distribution of assets is not expected any time soon, Hamilton-Smith said.

(Reporting by Anna Driver; editing by John Wallace)

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