Stanford closure

The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore affiliate of Stanford Financial Group, the Texas-based investment house accused of "massive fraud" by federal authorities, was shut down this week by a court-appointed receiver, a spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission said yesterday.

The spokesman, John J. Nester, had no additional information about the shuttering of the affiliate, Stanford Institutional Consulting, which opened in December in an office at Quarry Lake at Greenspring in Baltimore County. He said about 30 Stanford or affiliate offices around the country have been closed.

The landlord at Quarry Lake, Blue & Obrecht, was notified by an attorney representing the receiver that the Stanford office would be closed and the locks changed, said Richard F. Blue Jr., president of Blue & Obrecht. He said he believed the office had been closed since Monday or Tuesday.

Stanford Institutional Consulting executives could not be reached yesterday.

The SEC alleged Feb. 17 that Stanford Financial had defrauded clients out of as much as $8 billion by selling certificates of deposit that were incapable of delivering the high returns they promised. It also said a federal judge in Texas agreed to freeze the defendants' assets.

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