New Reuters Story: Obama, Politicians Refuse to Give Back Allen Stanford donations

Have a new story out on Reuters:

(Reuters) – National fundraising committees for the Democratic and Republican parties, President Barack Obama, and other major politicians have declined to return campaign donations totaling $1.8 million from Houston financier R. Allen Stanford, now on trial for allegedly masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

The court-appointed receiver charged with returning money to Stanford investors obtained a federal court order last June against five Democratic and Republican campaigns. But they haven’t returned the money. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $950,500; the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), $238,500; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $200,000; the Republican National Committee $128,500, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) $83,345.

The contributions to the campaign committees and candidates were given by Stanford himself, Stanford executives, and a political action committee associated with the financier.

The receiver, Ralph Janvey, is also trying to claw back money Stanford donated to individual politicians. The list of his recipients reads like a who’s who of Washington, including President Obama – who received $4,600 from Stanford in his 2008 election campaign – Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the NRCC, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. Janvey is seeking these funds informally, and has not filed lawsuits.

Money has already been returned by House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. John McCain, among others. But the roughly $154,000 recovered from elected officials is a fraction of the $1.8 million still outstanding.

The $4,600 Janvey is seeking from the Obama campaign reflects only direct contributions from Allen Stanford himself. The total may be as high $31,000 when Stanford’s contributions to Obama’s other campaign committees are included, along with money from senior Stanford executives, and the Stanford Financial Group’s now defunct PAC, according to campaign finance records and an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.


The Obama campaign donated the $4,600 contribution to charity on February 18, 2009, just days after Stanford’s alleged fraud came to light. The Obama campaign officially has no comment on the matter, but a source familiar with the campaign’s thinking told Reuters that it does not intend to return the money to the receiver or Stanford investors.

Read the rest of the story here.  Read my last story on Stanford here.  Also Slate, Daily Beast, and Daily Caller.

Other Reuters Stories by Murray Waas:

Murray Waas, “Obama, Politicians Decline to Return Campaign Contributions,” Reuters, Feb. 13, 2012.

Murray Waas, “How Allen Stanford Kept the SEC at Bay,” Reuters, Jan. 26, 2012.

Murray Waas(with editing by Claudia Parsons), “Disgraced John Ensign Back in Legal Jeopardy,” Reuters, May 26, 2011.

Murray Waas, “Tea Party Candidates Only a Democrat Could Love,” Reuters, Oct. 27, 2010.

Nick Carey and Murray Waas, “Virginia Veteran Report Shows High Depression Rate,” Reuters, Sept. 27, 2010.

Murray Waas (with editing by Jim Impoco), “Wellpoint Routinely Treats Breast Cancer Patients,” Reuters, April 24, 2010.

Murray Waas (with Lewis Krauskopf), “Insurer Targeted HIV Patients to Drop Coverage,” Reuters, March 17, 2010.

Murray Waas, “Insurer Targeted HIV Patients to Drop Coverage,” Reuters, March 17, 2010.

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