The Libyan government’s sovereign wealth fund invested at least half a billion dollars with accused ponzi scheme Texas financier Allen Stanford, CNBC reports, citing court documents. According to the report, on January 25, 2009 Stanford accompanied by his girlfriend Andrea Stoelker, flew to Tripoli in a private jet to meet with Libyan government officials.
The global financial crisis was at its worst, and Stanford, who in late Feb. 2009 was accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme through his Houston-based Stanford Group Co., like nearly every other banker in the world, was trying hard to keep his empire afloat.
Libya, notes CNBC, which had only recently won fully normalized relations with the U.S., would throw Stanford a major lifeline. According to court filings, “The Libyan government’s sovereign wealth fund invested some $500 million with Stanford, who left Libya the next day along with Stoelker and an unidentified third person, bound for Zurich, Switzerland.”
It had been widely believed that the Muammer Gaddafi’s regime was one of the largest victims of the alleged Stanford scam, in which investors have thus far recovered less than three cents on the dollar. However, the most intriguing part of the story is the fact that CNBC has learned Libya may have managed to withdraw much of its nine figures investment with Stanford just before the firm collapsed.
If true, it would have been a super fast trade that thousands of much smaller investors were unable to make.