The sentencing to 110 years in prison of 62 year-old Texan (former) financial tycoon Allen Stanford for running a $7 billion fraud scheme may not immediately appear to have a Kenya-link but read on, it has.
Stanford was found guilty in March of 13 out of 14 charges of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and the obstruction of justice. The jury heard how he had defrauded over 30,000 people from some 100 countries through a ‘Ponzi scheme’ run out of his Stanford International Bank based in Antigua. His sentence was handed down yesterday.
Judge David Hittner said that it was “one of the most egregious frauds ever presented to a trial judge in a federal court” in the USA.
KROLL GIVES STANFORD THE ALL CLEAR
One matter that has puzzled many observers is how Stanford got away with it for so long despite being investigated by the international risk consultancy company Kroll. The reason is that Kroll failed to spot Stanford’s fraudulent activities giving his company a clean bill of health in what was later described as a “shoddy report”.
Kroll were called in by a New York Hedge Fund, Platinum Partners, to investigate Stanford’s “feeder fund”. At least in part, on the basis of the Kroll report, Platinum Partners invested $20 million in the fund and of course, lost their money.
It was doubly odd that Kroll did not know more about Allen Stanford given that in the late 1990s Stanford himself had hired Kroll to help counter US federal investigators who were getting suspicious about his activities.
THE KENYA KROLL REPORT
Regular readers of the Kenya Forum will know that we raised serious issues in two articles (13 January and 1 March, 2011) arising from Kroll’s work in Kenya and especially the validity of the Kenya Kroll Report that was, only in part, leaked to the media in late August 2007.
In summary, the Forum drew attention to the allegation that the ‘Kroll Report’ on corruption in Kenya that was published on Wikileaks prior to the election in 2007 was in fact leaked by the Mars Group to Wikileaks and that the full Kroll Report has never been released.
The Forum articles also drew attention to two key facts with regards to the Kroll Report that was published. First, it was clear that several pages from the original document were missing from the ‘report’ published in 2007. Second, although it contained detailed allegations against ‘targets’ 1, 2, 3, and 7, no details were published on the findings into ‘targets’ 4, 5 and 6, nor have their identities ever been revealed.
The Kenya Forum asked: who were targets 4,5 and 6? And what were the allegations contained in the missing pages?
More detailed study also revealed many errors in the published report. It is also set out in a different format and typeface to other Kroll reports at the time and the language differs markedly as well.
The Forum has since been told that the published report may not have been the same as the one that was originally delivered by Kroll back in 2004.
Someone, some body, whether it be the Kenyan government, Kroll, senior political figures in Kenya, or indeed some ‘civil society’ activists, know the truth about the names of the missing ‘targets’ and the contents of the missing pages that did not appear in the published Kenya Kroll report.
As the fifth anniversary of the publishing of the Kenya Kroll report approaches the Kenya Forum thinks that for the sake of transparency and justice, it is high this information was made public.