The Gilded Age
For sale: Lots of Allen Stanford's real estate
Ralph Janvey might be receiving some flowers and thank-you cards this week.
Janvey is the Dallas receiver with the Securities & Exchange Commission charged with recovering assets from the Stanford Financial Group, the company through which financier Allen Stanford allegedly defrauded his investors in what authorities say was a $7 billion ponzi scheme. On Tuesday a judge approved his request to auction dozens of real estate holdings tied to the company and its subsidiaries.
On the auction block: the showy 3-story, 62,000-square-foot headquarters of the Stanford Financial Group at 5050 Westheimer Road directly across from the Galleria, Stanford's airplane hangar in Sugar Land, and other properties in Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The judge also approved a plan to potentially sell assets of the Stanford Development Corp., which includes some condos in the plague-ridden Stanford Lofts, as long as the condo association receives notice and has a chance to object to any sale.
One person who won't be sending Janvey a thank-you? Allen Stanford's daughter Randi, who agreed to move out of her $1.3 million condo in The Huntingdon building (which is becoming something of an infamous address these days). Stanford had originally fought to hold on to the property and referred to Janvey and his attorneys' "Gestapo-like tactics." But the Houston Chronicle reports that "A report by an accountant working for the receiver showed that Allen Stanford paid for the condo with $1.3 million in early 2006. It shows that at least $44,000 paid for condo maintenance came directly from company funds, and that $34,000 of that came from the certificates of deposits issued by Stanford’s bank in Antigua that are at the heart of the alleged fraud."
Janvey released a statement tempering the legal victory with the economic realities of selling the holdings. "Marketing efforts will begin immediately. However, the timing of any sale will necessarily depend on... relevant market conditions and debt obligations associated with each property."