Stanford official’s home improperly raided: filing

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Lawyers for a Stanford Financial Group official charged with fraud said on Tuesday lawyers for the company’s court-appointed receiver improperly raided her Mississippi home last week, seized personal effects and even rummaged through her underwear drawer.

 According to court documents, two lawyers representing Ralph Janvey, appointed by a U.S. judge to oversee all of Stanford’s assets, on March 2 entered Laura Pendergest-Holt’s home in Baldwyn, Mississippi and “took what they pleased.”

 That included the keys to her car, her husband’s personal tax returns and four boxes of family mail, according to documents filed in a Dallas court by Jeffrey Tillotson, Pendergest-Holt’s lawyer.

 FBI agents last month arrested Pendergest-Holt, the chief investment officer for the Stanford Financial Group, and accused her of criminally obstructing the government’s investigation of Stanford. Pendergest-Holt, 35, is the only person arrested in the case of Allen Stanford, accused of carrying out a massive Ponzi scheme.

 Pendergest-Holt is currently free on bail and her lawyer says she is innocent of the charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 Now, Tillotson told U.S. Judge David Godbey — who is overseeing the case — that Janvey should be stripped of his receivership powers as they relate to Pendergest-Holt. Tillotson asked Godbey to rule on the emergency motion on March 12 — the next court hearing set in the case.

 “The point of the receiver is to marshal all assets of the company and they’ve gone too far,” Tillotson told Reuters. Janvey’s actions violated Pendergest-Holt’s constitutional rights, he added.

 Janvey did not reply to a request for comment on the filing.

 According to the filing, on March 2 Janvey’s lawyers, accompanied by a U.S. Marshal, “rummaged through drawers containing personal items of clothing and Defendant’s undergarments, rifled through shelves of personal family effects.” They also “gleefully indicated” to her husband that “he was not going to be living in the house much longer,” the filing said.

 Outside the house, a U.S. marshal accompanying Janvey’s colleagues complimented Jim Holt, Pendergest-Holt’s husband, on their home and its landscaping.

 Holt replied they should “wait till spring,” when blooming flowers would make the yard even prettier, Tillotson told Reuters.

 That’s when one lawyer told Holt: ‘You’re not going to be here in the spring,’ Tillotson said, in a slightly veiled threat their home would be seized as a part of Janvey’s effort to round up Stanford assets.

 Janvey has also forwarded all of Pendergest-Holt and her husband’s personal mail to his office and his lawyers last week photographed every room in their Mississippi home, according to the filing.


5 Responses to “Stanford official’s home improperly raided: filing”

  1. tupelobizbuzz Says:

    Thanks for the tip. We’ve got the Houston Chronicle story on Biz Buzz.

  2. thespear Says:

    If they really go after her house, its sad. bc she inherited that house from her parents, i believe. It has been in her family for generations, from what I understand. imo, a family heirloom shouldnt be an asset

  3. tupelotalk Says:

    Point taken, but if it has value its an asset. Ask Jimmy Green.

    Spear, what makes you think they are going after her personal assets ? I haven’t seen anything to make me think that.

    At this point, they’re just looking for evidence.

    I think everyone must understand, the Stanford execs have the means to make things disappear. That means the authorities must move swiftly.

    Even though the rules might be bent, its a necessary evil.

  4. thespear Says:

    I know that if it has value its an asset, just giving my opinion on how things “should be”, i know we dont live in eutopia. I know they are not going after her personal assets at this point, nor did anything lead me to believe they were. My comment was simply in response to the story of the lawyer mocking her husband, saying he wouldnt be in the house for long, sorry for the confusion

  5. Boffin Says:

    Maybe they do Eugenics in Eutopia but the usual one is “Utopia” – taken from the title of a book written in 1516 by Sir Thomas More describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean, possessing a seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system.

    Oh well, U-topia , Me-topia, ec-topia (maybe a kind of pregnancy or a shortened “eco-topia”)

    Hope ms Holt spells better

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