Money manager Robert Allen Stanford now has two things in common with embattled investment manager Bernard Madoff: both have come under scrutiny for allegedly defrauding their investors, and both have given significant funds to politicians. The Securities and Exchange Commission today accused Stanford, chief of Stanford Financial Group, of “fraud in the sale of about $8 billion of high-yielding certificates of deposit held in the firm’s bank in Antigua,” according to the New York Times.
Between its PAC and its employees, Stanford Financial Group has given $2.4 million to federal candidates (including both candidate committees and leadership PACs), parties and committees since 2000, with 65 percent of that going to Democrats. Stanford and his wife, Susan, have given $931,100 out of their own pockets, with 78 percent going to Democrats. The top recipients of cash in the current Congress include Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who received $45,900; Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who collected $41,375; and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who brought in $28,150. (For a full list of recipients, see below.) The company gave the most during the 2002 election cycle, when Congress was debating the Financial Services Antifraud Network Act, a bill that would have created a computer network linking the databases of state and federal banking, securities and insurance regulators to curb financial fraud. Lobbying reports indicate that Stanford Financial Group lobbied on the bill, which the House passed but the Senate did not. Nelson was vice chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the ’02 cycle, when the DSCC collected more than $800,000 from the company. (UPDATE 2/18/09: A spokesman for Nelson pointed out to Capital Eye that Nelson was not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where the antifraud act appears to have stalled in 2001. Nelson’s spokesman said the senator supported the bill, which Stanford presumably opposed.)
The entire list is at the link. The list of recipients in the article stopped just short of Senator Chris Dodd, who has been a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee for 26 years and is now its Chairman.
I guess he has been connected with too much of the problems in the financial industry to warrant a mention. He received $1000 less than Senator John McCain, the Democrats favorite Republican.