Postal Inspectors help unravel $7 billion Ponzi scam

From USPS News Link:

The Postal Inspection Service’s Mail Fraud Team helped arrest and successfully prosecute the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme ever to go to trial.

R. Allen Stanford, former chairman of the Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, was sentenced to 110 years in prison. The jury also awarded the largest forfeiture judgment ever — $330 million — for a Ponzi scheme. The money will be returned to victims.

Stanford was convicted of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud — illegally soliciting more than $5 billion from approximately 25,000 victims.

Stanford convinced investors to purchase certificates of deposit and then misused most of the money. His victims mailed payments and believed the monthly statements he sent them accurately reflected their investments. Stanford diverted more than $1.6 billion of investor funds for his personal use.

“Stanford’s investors believed their life savings were safe and secure,” said Deputy Chief Inspector Shawn Tiller. “When criminals exploit the mail to perpetrate fraud, it’s our job as Postal Inspectors to bring them to justice.”

The Mail Fraud Team works full time at the Department of Justice and is composed of Postal Inspectors and investigative support analysts. The team works with attorneys to solve the department’s most significant mail fraud cases.