UPDATE 2-U.S. SEC will not appeal ruling against Stanford's Ponzi victims
(Adds comments from SIPC, Senator Vitter)
By Jonathan Stempel and Sarah N. Lynch
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will not appeal a recent court decision that thousands of victims of financier Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme were ineligible under federal law to file claims to recoup their losses, a SEC spokesman said on Friday.
On July 18, a federal appeals court in Washington rejected the SEC's bid to force the Securities Investor Protection Corp to start paying an estimated 7,800 former customers of Stanford Group Co.
The court concluded that those victims did not qualify as "customers" eligible for compensation by SIPC, which liquidates failed brokerages. It upheld a July 2012 ruling by a federal district judge.
Stanford, 64, is serving a 110-year prison term following his March 2012 conviction for running an estimated $7.2 billion fraud.
The scheme was centered on bilking investors with fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.
While the SIPC has handled other big liquidations, including that of Bernard Madoff's former firm, it contended that Stanford's customers did not qualify for help because the Antigua bank was not a member of SIPC, unlike Texas-based Stanford Group.
SEC spokesman John Nester said on Friday in an email that the regulatory agency decided "after very careful deliberation" not to pursue the case further. Continuación...