A dozen executives and investment advisors, who worked in the Stanford Group’s Baton Rouge office selling the firm’s bogus certificates of deposit, however unwittingly, have reached settlement agreements in a long-running lawsuit against them.
According to a report filed Aug. 30, in federal court in Dallas, the Texas-based receiver in the case has reached agreements to settle with more than 250 former employees of The Stanford Group for a total of $59.9 million.
While that may sound like a hefty settlement, it’s just a fraction of the total $5 billion in losses that investors worldwide—hundreds of whom were from the Capital Region—have claimed. They lost their money in 2009, when The Stanford Group shut down following the collapse of the Ponzi scheme on which it was based.
None of the executives or brokers in the Baton Rouge office were ever criminally prosecuted for the losses their clients incurred. But a court-appointed receiver has been pursuing civil suits against them and others for years.
According to the recent court filings, claims were dismissed against 189 former employees, meaning they have already reached a settlement agreement and paid it. Among those in that group, who worked in the Baton Rouge office, are Tiffany Angelle, Dirk Harris and Tim Parsons. That list also includes Stephanie Green, widow of Jason Green, in her capacity as executrix of his estate. Jason Green, who ran the local office of the Stanford Group, died of cancer in 2018 in Arkansas, where his family had relocated.
Court documents also show that 56 former employees have reached settlement agreements but have not yet paid them. Among the local names on that list are: Ron Clayton, James Cox, James Fontenot, Grady Layfield, John Schwab and Michael Word.
Two others from the Baton Rouge office—Charles Jantzi and Hank Mills—are among 28 former employees who have agreed to settlements in principle but have yet to execute formal agreements.
Local attorney Phil Preis, who has a separate class-action lawsuit against the firm that served as administrator for the Stanford Group’s investment transactions, says the $59.9 million won’t amount to much for investors who,10 years after the firm’s collapse, have still only recouped just pennies on the dollars they lost.
“Sixty million dollars or so is just one percent of five billion,” Preis says. “It’s not really going to result in any money to them.’