Senators want country’s aid stopped

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Published: December 2,2009

Tags: federal government, SCANDAL

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) have joined in introducing a Senate resolution aimed at preventing the government of Antigua and Barbuda from receiving financial aid if it continues to hinder efforts to recover billions lost in the Stanford Financial Group fraud scandal.

Despite the country’s continued refusal to cooperate in the Stanford investigation, the government of Antigua and Barbuda is currently seeking loans from the IMF and World Bank. The resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the U.S. representatives to the IMF and World Bank to use their position to block these loans. Both the IMF and World Bank receive significant funding from the U.S. government.

“Instead of stonewalling efforts to recover assets linked to the scam perpetrated by Allen Stanford and his firm, the government of Antigua and Barbuda should join U.S. and international organizations in trying to find some measure of justice for victims. Government officials in Antigua and Barbuda must understand that their lack of cooperation is unacceptable,” said Cochran.

Allen Stanford is known to have had close ties with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, and is alleged, among other things, to have loaned that government at least $85 million, which presumably came from Stanford investor funds. The government of Antigua and Barbuda is refusing to cooperate with the U.S. receiver in charge of gathering the assets of the Stanford Financial Group and distributing them to victims of the fraud.

The resolution, authored by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), was also cosponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

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