Ralph S. Janvey, whom the Securities and Exchange Commission appointed as the “receiver” in the case, wants to take $9.5 million from the players, an amount that mostly consists of their initial investments, so that the athletes’ money can be split up among all of Mr. Stanford’s purported victims.
“The fact that the [ballplayers] are innocent investors and committed no wrongdoing does not entitle them to retain proceeds received from the fraudulent” scheme, lawyers for Mr. Janvey wrote in a filing last week with the U.S. District Court in Dallas.
Gene R. Besen, an attorney for all seven players, declined to comment on the move by the receiver.
Targeted by the filing are accounts at Pershing, a clearing broker used by Mr. Stanford and where brokerage accounts were held by retired pitcher Greg Maddux, retired New York Yankees slugger Bernie Williams, current Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon, Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew, Texas Rangers outfielder Andruw Jones, Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena and Jay Bell, a shortstop who played for several teams before retiring in 2003.
David B. Smith, a Virginia lawyer who is co-chairman of the Forfeiture Abuse Task Force of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said Mr. Janvey’s filing is “unusually aggressive.”
On the lower end, Mr. Damon stands to lose $400,070, which includes the $400,000 principal that Mr. Damon put up and about $70 in interest he got from Mr. Stanford. According to court records, Mr. Maddux is at the higher end, with the receiver seeking nearly $3.7 million – Mr. Maddux’s $3.5 million initial investment and $170,000 in profit.
“At the end of the day, these guys will get something back from the collective pot,” white-collar defense lawyer Barry J. Pollack said. “While they might be putting in $1.25 now, they may be getting 75 cents down the road.”
The receiver argues it is only fair that all of the money recovered goes into one pool and is distributed among all the investors, both those who made money and those who lost money.
*Please note The Washington Times reported this story, not The Clarion-Ledger.