TD Bank Group said Monday it will pay US$1.2 billion to settle a lawsuit related to one of the largest Ponzi schemes ever orchestrated.
The bank, along with several other financial institutions, was about to face trial in the case in Texas for its alleged role in the $7 billion scheme operated by the Stanford Financial Group.
Standford, who was the island’s largest private employer was found guilty of a massive $7bn (£4.5bn) Ponzi scheme by a court in Houston.
The fraud was run from his offshore bank in Antigua and investors’ money was used to pay for his lavish billionaire’s lifestyle.
In agreeing to the settlement, TD denied any liability or wrongdoing and maintained that it acted properly at all times. The bank said it chose to settle the case to avoid the distraction and uncertainty of continuing a long legal proceeding.
TD had provided correspondent banking services to Stanford International Bank Ltd., an offshore bank in Antigua, and had faced allegations of knowing assistance and negligence related to the Ponzi scheme.
The Ponzi scheme in the TD settlement was run for 20 years by Allen Stanford and involved more than 30,000 accounts.
In a parallel case against the bank in Ontario, the court ruled in TD’s favour. The ruling was backed up by the Ontario Court of Appeal, while the plaintiffs are trying to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Under the terms of the U.S. agreement, TD has settled with the receiver, the official Stanford Investors Committee and other plaintiffs in the litigation.
TD, which is scheduled to report its first-quarter results on Thursday, said that as a result of the settlement it will take a charge of about C$1.2 billion after tax in the quarter. Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison for its orchestration.
Stanford first came to Antigua in the 1980s after the authorities closed down his offshore bank in the British overseas territory of Montserrat.
What a thing