"From what I've been able to figure out, this is not a Ponzi scheme, it is not toxic assets, and it is not toxic loans," DeGuerin told Reuters. "There were hard assets for all the investments. And then SEC came in like gangbusters and has just incinerated the companies and caused a panic."

Stanford has already won one court battle. Charles Hazlett never returned to big-time investment brokering after he lost his case against Stanford and ponied up more than $200,000. "I got my ass kicked by the arbitration court," he says, standing inside the neat living room of his condo at the Grand near downtown Miami. "They basically ended my career."

Still, he knows that many others have it worse — the investors, as well as the employees who stuck with the company until the end (and who might face prosecution for their role in selling Stanford CDs). Hazlett is now senior vice president of CP Capital Group and is developing a beachfront community in Nicaragua.

Charles Hazlett, a top Miami investment broker, aired his fears about the company in 2003.
C. Stiles
Charles Hazlett, a top Miami investment broker, aired his fears about the company in 2003.
Alex Dalmady, a Weston-based analyst, called Stanford International a Ponzi scheme in a Venezuelan newspaper article weeks before the SEC’s charges.
C. Stiles
Alex Dalmady, a Weston-based analyst, called Stanford International a Ponzi scheme in a Venezuelan newspaper article weeks before the SEC’s charges.

He runs his hand over his hair and shakes his head.

"Why didn't the SEC look into this any earlier? They just refused to pull back the veil," he says. "Now it's all so obvious."

Charles Hazlett, a top Miami investment broker, aired his fears about the company in 2003.

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