Remember our old friend Allen Stanford? Matthew Goldstein, who had been covering the Stanford story closely at BusinessWeek, and has now moved to Reuters, has an interesting catch about the cricket-loving billionaire’s curious legal strategy.
Goldstein reports that Stanford last week replaced his civil defense team with a group of lawyers from the Gulf Law Group, a little-known Washington, DC-based firm.
Who are these guys? Writes Goldstein:
The Gulf firm bills itself as a “full-service firm,” but it mainly appears to be a law firm specializing in admiralty and maritime law. On the firm’s homepage there are photographs of a lighthouse, a cargo ship and offshore drilling platform.
Securities law does not appear to be one of the firm’s specialities.
Of course, it’s a securities law expert that Stanford needs. He’s been charged by the SEC with orchestrating a $8 billion Ponz scheme.
Could the makeup of his new team suggest he plans to base his defense around jurisdictional issues, somehow arguing that the fact that his bank was headquartered in Antigua puts him beyond the reach of US authorities?
It’s also worth noting that Stanford still appears to have the heavy-hitting criminal defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin on call, if and when Sir Allen is criminally charged.