U.S. appeals court denies request for Stanford victims to file claims

WASHINGTON, July 18 Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:38am EDT

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WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court dealt a blow to the victims of Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme on Friday, ruling that they are not eligible under federal law to file claims seeking compensation for their losses.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also marks a major loss for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC was seeking to overturn a lower court's decision from 2012 in which a federal judge rejected a request by the agency to force the Securities Investor Protection Corp to start court proceedings for the fraud victims, some of whom lost millions of dollars. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Susan Heavey)