Laura Pendergest-Holt, Stanford Financial Group’s chief financial officer, is asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas to terminate an order that appointed the receiver in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank – at least as far as that order affects her. Pendergest-Holt alleges in an emergency motion filed March 10 that two Dallas lawyers -- Charles Gale, a partner in Krage & Janvey, and Richard Phillips, a partner in Thompson & Knight -- representing Ralph S. Janvey, the court-appointed receiver in Stanford, raided her Baldwyn, Miss., home March 2, accompanied by a U.S. marshal. Pendergest-Holt is a defendant in the SEC’s civil complaint in Stanford International Bank, filed Feb. 17, and is also charged criminally with lying to the SEC. As alleged in Pendergest-Holt’s motion, Gale and Phillips “rifled through” her personal items, redirected her and her husband’s mail, and drove off in her car. “They went through her personal stuff, her underwear drawer,” says John Volney, one of Pendergest-Holt’s attorneys and a partner in Lynn Tillotson Pinker & Cox in Dallas. Pendergest-Holt alleges in the motion: “For those who think the accused have at least minimal rights, they might be wise to rethink that view when entering the world inhabited by the Receiver’s counsel.” Pendergest-Holt further alleges that Gale and Phillips conducted their raid on the same day that she, through her counsel, and the SEC entered into an agreed preliminary injunction in the case. With the entry of the preliminary injunction, there is no longer a need for the receiver to gather up any of Pendergest-Holt’s property, Volney says. Although Pendergest-Holt has asked the court to consider her motion March 12,Volney says a hearing that soon is unlikely because lawyers are in the midst of trying to work out the briefing schedule. Janvey, a partner in Krage Janvey, Gale and Phillips did not immediately return a telephone call to each of their offices seeking comment. David Reece, listed as the SEC's lead attorney in Stanford on PACER, and Kevin Sadler, lead attorney for Janvey and a partner in Baker Botts, also did not return a telephone call.
-- Mary Alice Robbins