Former Executives of Stanford Financial Group Entities Convicted for Roles in Fraud Scheme
|Nov. 19, 2012|
HOUSTON – A Houston federal jury has convicted Gilbert T. Lopez Jr., the former chief accounting officer of Stanford Financial Group Company, and Mark J. Kuhrt, the former global controller of Stanford Financial Group Global Management, for their roles in helping Robert Allen Stanford perpetrate a fraud scheme involving Stanford International Bank (SIB).
The guilty verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; FBI Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the Criminal Investigative Division; Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Phyllis C. Borzi; Chief Postal Inspector Guy J. Cottrell; and Special Agent in Charge Lucy Cruz of IRS-Criminal Investigation.
Stanford, who was convicted in a separate trial held earlier this year, illegally used billions of dollars of SIB’s assets to fund his personal business ventures, to live a lavish lifestyle, and for other improper purposes.
The evidence presented at the trial of Lopez and Kuhrt established that they were aware of and tracked Stanford’s misuse of SIB’s assets, kept the misuse hidden from the public and from almost all of Stanford’s other employees, and worked behind the scenes to prevent the misuse from being discovered.
The trial against Lopez and Kuhrt spanned five weeks. After approximately three days of deliberation, the jury found both Lopez, 70, and Kuhrt, 40, both of Houston, guilty of 10 of 11 counts in the indictment. Each defendant was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. Each was found not guilty on one wire fraud count.
Both defendants were immediately remanded into custody.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who presided over the trial, has set sentencing for Feb. 14, 2013. At sentencing, Lopez and Kuhrt will each face a maximum of 20 years in prison on each count of conviction.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS-CI and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Varnado of the Southern District of Texas and by Deputy Chief Jeffrey Goldberg and Trial Attorney Andrew Warren of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.