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    Kotlikoff: Investors at Risk of Wipeout, SIPC a Fraud

    Economist Laurence Kotlikoff is calling on all Americans to close their brokerage accounts immediately because of the risk of a total wipeout — a risk he says stems from a massive Wall Street insurance scam perpetrated by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). “SIPC, a brokerage ‘insurance’ arm of Wall Street, has been and remains today engaged in insurance fraud,” Kotlikoff told ThinkAdvisor in a telephone interview. “SIPC claims to insure brokerage accounts. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What it’s really doing is placing all brokerage account holders at extreme risk.” More on ThinkAdvisor here.

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    Kotlikoff: Investors at Risk of Wipeout, SIPC a Fraud

    Economist Laurence Kotlikoff is calling on all Americans to close their brokerage accounts immediately because of the risk of a total wipeout — a risk he says stems from a massive Wall Street insurance scam perpetrated by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). “SIPC, a brokerage ‘insurance’ arm of Wall Street, has been and remains today engaged in insurance fraud,” Kotlikoff told ThinkAdvisor in a telephone interview. “SIPC claims to insure brokerage accounts. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What it’s really doing is placing all brokerage account holders at extreme risk.” More on Think Advisor here.

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    ALERT:

    Vitter: Appeal for Stanford Ponzi Scheme Victim Fails, Highlights Need to Reform SIPC
    Click here for Senator Vitter’s statement following the July 18th Appeals Court Ruling in the SEC vs SIPC appeal for Stanford Ponzi Scheme Victims. Click here for a copy of the ruling.

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    Stanford Losses Not Covered by SIPC, Appeals Court Rules

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission can’t force a brokerage account insurer to pay victims of R. Allen Stanford’s $7 billion fraud because their purchases weren’t covered, an appeals court ruled. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said the 7,000 investors in certificates of deposit sold by Stanford didn’t qualify as customers of a brokerage who would be insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corp., as the SEC argued. The CDs were bought at Antigua-based Stanford International Bank LLC, which wasn’t a SIPC member, the court said. The Stanford case is the first in which the SEC has gone to court to force SIPC to extend coverage. SIPC, a nonprofit corporation funded by the brokerage industry, has come under criticism from U.S. senators for allegedly favoring its Wall Street members over fraud victims in recent years. More on Bloomberg here.

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    Court Rules Against Victims of Ponzi Scheme

    An appeals court on Friday dealt a blow to the victims of the financier Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme, ruling that they were not eligible to file claims seeking compensation for their losses. The decision, by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was a setback for the Securities and Exchange Commission. The S.E.C. had sought to overturn a 2012 Federal District Court decision that rejected the agency’s request to force the Securities Investor Protection Corporation to start proceedings to aid the fraud victims. “In declining to grant the S.E.C.’s requested relief, the district court expressed that it was ‘truly sympathetic to the plight’ of the victims,” Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote in a unanimous opinion. “We fully agree. But we also agree with the district court’s conclusion.” Allen Stanford was convicted of fraud and sentenced in June 2012 to 110 years in prison. Over the years, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation has handled prominent liquidations, including Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. But the corporation has said the Stanford victims did not qualify as “customers” under its charter because Mr. Stanford’s offshore bank was not a member of the corporation. More in the New York Times here.

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