Eight individuals and a Louisiana company filed a Federal Tort Claims Act suit March 24 against the federal government, alleging they lost their investments in Stanford International Bank Ltd. (SIBL) because of the negligence of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission employees.

In the 29-page complaint in Robert J. Dartez LLC, et al. v. United States, the plaintiffs allege that an SEC Office of Inspector General report issued in March 2010 found that the SEC’s Fort Worth office had known since 1997 that Stanford (which the complaint uses to refer to R. Allen Stanford and “his companies”) likely was “operating a Ponzi scheme,” but it wasn’t until February 2009 that the SEC sued Stanford, alleging they “orchestrated an $8 billion fraud that was based on false promises of guaranteed returns related to so-called ‘certificates of deposit’ ” issued by SIBL. [See the complaint.]