Senior U.S. District Judge David Hittner of Houston on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction that orders two insurance companies to advance defense costs to Stanford Financial Group executives facing criminal charges and civil litigation. In a 42-page order, Hittner ruled that Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London and Arch Specialty Insurance Cos. are prohibited from withholding “all ‘costs, charges and expenses’” already incurred by the defendants and that will be incurred in the future in United States v. Robert Allen Stanford, et al., a criminal case pending in Hittner’s court, and in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank Ltd., et al., a civil case which is pending before U.S. District Judge David Godbey of the Northern District of Texas. Hittner gave the insurance companies 10 days to pay all invoices already submitted by defense attorneys for the criminal case in his court and the SEC civil suit in Godbey’s court.

Allen Stanford and three other Stanford Financial Group defendants — Laura Pendergest-Holt, Gilberto Lopez Jr. and Mark Kuhrt — filed the coverage suit after the underwriters in November 2009 issued denial letters that retroactively denied them coverage under directors and officers’ policies.

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