Mid-South Stanford employees unpaid, investors' assets frozen - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South Stanford employees unpaid, investors' assets frozen

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

Memphis-based Stanford Financial executive Laura Pendergest-Holt is behind bars, and the business is shut down.
Now, Stanford's millions of investors in Tennessee and Mississippi are asking when they can access their money.

And Stanford employees want to know if and when they'll get paid. 

Pendergest-Holt was a top executive at the investment firm headed by Texas financier Allen Stanford. 
But on Friday, she wasn't in her Memphis office. She was instead headed to a Houston courtroom in handcuffs, under arrest for her alleged role in an $8 billion fraud scheme.

But Pendergest-Holt's arrest gives no indication of when Stanford clients will see their money.

"These kinds of things take a long time to unwind," said David Waddell, Investment Strategist for Waddell and Associates of Memphis. 
He says Stanford's Memphis clients should have seen the warning signs the minute the company came to town. "Anytime somebody is selling sizzle, you know we've got a secret...we make a whole lot more money than anybody else."
Security and Exchange Commission investigators raided the Memphis Stanford Financial offices earlier this month.
"There are some people who were living out of those accounts that are not able to access those assets to pay their light bill, their cable bill, etc.," Waddell said.

Experts say the Stanford fallout is another example that supports the old adage: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"The biggest lesson that comes out of this is - how well do you know your service provider?" said Waddell.

And while clients worry about their assets, Stanford employees didn't receive paychecks Friday. 

A company Web site says that by next week, employees should know whether they still have jobs and if and when they'll get paid.

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