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Stanford receivers reach settlement with Antigua in fraud case

(Reuters) - U.S. and Antiguan officials liquidating Allen Stanford's offshore bank said they have reached a settlement that would return a substantial portion of $300 million in frozen assets to the victims of Stanford's fraud, a court filing showed.

Stanford was sentenced in June to 110 years in prison for bilking investors with fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by Stanford International Bank, his bank in Antigua.

Ever since the Ponzi scheme was uncovered, U.S. and international authorities, including those in Antigua and the United Kingdom, have been fighting for control of Stanford's assets outside of the United States.

"None of these international assets has been turned over to the Justice Department or distributed to the victims of the Stanford scheme," lawyers representing U.S. officials said in the filing with the federal court in Texas overseeing the case.

The agreement between U.S. and Antiguan officials provides for the distribution of almost 90 percent of the frozen assets from the UK, Canada, and Switzerland, and will become effective after it has been approved by the respective courts in those countries.

"After lengthy and complex negotiations, the parties have reached agreement on a settlement that if approved...will end four years of conflict and litigation," lawyers said in the filing.

The dispute for control over Stanford's UK assets is currently pending before the UK Central Criminal Court.

The American case is in re: SEC vs Stanford International Bank Ltd et al, Case No. 09-cv-0298, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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