A dispute over control of $370 million in assets traced to accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford is holding up disbursement of the funds, but the liquidators and the receiver in the case are in talks to settle the matter, liquidators for Stanford's Antigua bank said on Friday.
Nigel Hamilton-Smith and Peter Wastell, the liquidators who work for a unit of Vantis Plc, said $100 million in assets in the United Kingdom and $100 million in Switzerland have been located, but Stanford's U.S. receiver Ralph Janvey and U.S. prosecutors are also seeking control of those funds.
Still, there are cooperation discussions.
I am optimistic that Mr. Janvey and I will be able to find a common working platform that will benefit the creditors worldwide, Hamilton-Smith said in an email.
A deal is not expected before March, and any agreement would require regulatory and court approvals, the liquidators said in a statement.
Swiss regulators will decide who should control funds there and a court in the United Kingdom will decide control of those assets.
A Canadian court ruled in December that Janvey should have control of $20 million in assets located in that country and the liquidators are contemplating an appeal of that decision, they said.
Land valued at more than $150 million in Antigua has also been traced to Stanford or companies he controlled, the liquidators said.
Stanford, 59, faces civil and criminal charges related to a $7 billion Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors allege he bilked clients through the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua, using proceeds to bankroll a life of luxury.
Stanford has denied any wrongdoing and is in a Houston jail awaiting his January 2011 trial.
Hamilton-Smith and Wastell were named liquidators by the High Court of Justice of Antigua and Barbuda. Janvey was appointed by a federal judge in Dallas.
The Stanford business has put considerable strain on Vantis. In its latest earnings report on Monday, the firm said there were myriad uncertainties associated with receipts from the Stanford insolvency, and if Vantis did not meet financial targets, it would cast significant doubt on the group's ability to continue as a going concern.
(Reporting by Anna Driver, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)