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Lawmakers return $87,800 in Stanford donations

By Anna Driver
/ Source: Reuters

By Anna Driver

U.S. politicians have returned $87,800 in donations from accused swindler Allen Stanford so far, according to the receiver trying to recover assets for the Texas financier's investors.

When Stanford, 59, was first charged in February with running a Ponzi scheme out of his offshore bank in Antigua, several lawmakers including President Barack Obama said they would donate to charity the contributions they had received from Stanford.

Ralph Janvey, the Dallas-based receiver in the case, had urged politicians to give the money back so it could be returned to Stanford investors. Some are doing that.

Among the cash returned include $8,000 from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, $27,500 from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and $14,000 from Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Janvey's said on his website.

Over the past decade, Stanford's firm, Stanford Financial Group, spent $4.8 million in lobbying Washington politicians, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money and politics in Washington.

Stanford, his political action committee, employees and members of their families also made $2.4 million in campaign contributions to federal candidates since 2000, the center said.

Stanford, who also faces criminal charges, has been in jail since June awaiting trail. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The list of returned political donations can be found on Janvey's website at http://www.stanfordfinancialreceivership.com.