A federal judge in Dallas has ordered five national political party committees to return $1.75 million in donations and interest they received from disgraced financier Allen Stanford.
Charged with masterminding an $8 billion Ponzi scheme, Stanford’s trial was delayed for a second time this week so that he can recover from an addition to anti-anxiety meds.
U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey said the committees must return the money to a court-appointed receiver so that he can disburse it to victims.
The committees had been fighting the return of the money, the Washington Post reported:
“Although as innocent beneficiaries ... [of Stanford’s funds] the Political Committees deserve some sympathy,” they are not entitled to special treatment exempting them from an obligation to give back funds that appear to have been derived from a Ponzi scheme, Godbey said.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee must return the largest amount, $950,000. Read more here.
The losses to Stanford victims in Lafayette and across the state are estimated at $1 billion. A recent decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission, however, is likely to result in many of them receiving up to $500,000 in insurance benefits.