Former CFO for R. Allen Stanford, Jim Davis, pleaded guilty to fraud yesterday.
This is probably not good news for Proskauer's Tom Sjoblom, who the WSJ Law Blog has written is most likely "Outside Attorney A" in the Davis plea agreement.
Here's just some of the fun stuff detailed by the Law Blog from the agreement:
It's weird -- I have scoured the agreement and news reports, and have not found a single interesting anecdote by anyone reached for comment in connection with this story.
For starters, Sjoblom comes across in the agreement as a fervent defender of Stanford International Bank as early as 2006. Davis agreed that the government could prove that in 2006 “Outside Attorney A” (Sjoblom) contacted the SEC, which had started an investigation of the bank, to tell the agency that it had “no basis” to request documents concerning the bank’s investment portfolio, and that he “had spent 15 years investigating fraud for the SEC and was ‘well-equipped’ to recognize the ‘hallmarks of fraud.’”
But the allegations relate to events from a couple years later. In 2008, the plea agreement says, Sjoblom was informed that the bank’s CD investment portfolio included a tier of illiquid investments valued at $6 billion and that it wasn’t disclosed to investors. (The tier later turned out to be mostly fictitious.) Also, Sjoblom learned that the bank’s chief investment officer Laura Pendergest-Holt, didn’t manage that part of the portfolio.
But Sjoblom, in a meeting in January of this year with SEC lawyers who were investigating the CD investment portfolio, according to the plea, “falsely maintained” that the company’s chief executive and chief financial officer didn’t “micro-manage” the CD investment portfolio and falsely maintained that Holt would be in the best position to talk about it. Sjoblom then “falsely informed the SEC attorneys at this meeting that [the bank] was ‘not a criminal enterprise.’”
Later, in February, Sjoblom allegedly learned at a Miami meeting with Stanford execs that the bank was, according to the plea agreement, likely insolvent because the CD investment portfolio was essentially fictitious. The chief executive, Allen Stanford, later told him that the bank’s “assets and financial health had been misrepresented to investors.”
A few days later, on Feb. 10, Sjoblom sat by Holt’s side as she told SEC lawyers under oath that “she was unaware of the assets and allocations of assets” in the $6 billion tier, despite the fact that both Holt and Sjoblom had allegedly been given details about the tier in the Miami meeting with Stanford execs. On Feb. 14, Sjoblom resigned from representing the bank and sent a note to the SEC, saying, “I disaffirm all prior oral and written representations made by me and my associates to the SEC staff.”
I did, however, just come across this Miami lawyer arguing that if you want to be a player in international banking you have to have a presence in Miami, thanks to our "world-class money management."
And don't forget our great regulators!
I mean seriously, what could possibly go wrong?