A retired record producer who lost more than $200,000 after a former U.S. Treasury secretary put her retirement check in a shaky offshore bank has won partial restitution from a lawyers’ fund, its director said Monday.
Ethel Gabriel of Pocono Pines, Pa., was awarded $100,000 from the Client’s Security Fund to make up, at least in part, for the $251,000 she entrusted to Robert B. Anderson, a Treasury secretary under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, said Frederick Miller, executive director of the state-created fund.
Anderson, who also served as President Richard M. Nixon’s chief negotiator on the Panama Canal Treaty talks, placed Gabriel’s money in a British West Indies bank that subsequently collapsed, Miller said.
Anderson pleaded guilty to income tax evasion in March, 1987. He was sentenced later that year to one month in prison and five years’ probation on condition that he make restitution to his wronged clients, Miller said. Anderson was disbarred earlier this year. Owing to the fund’s $100,000 cap on awards, Gabriel will not receive full restitution, Miller said. She is also receiving $100 a week from Anderson’s Social Security account.
Anderson was acting as Gabriel’s adviser when she asked him in 1984 to manage her lump-sum retirement check from RCA Records, where she had worked for 43 years. She had hoped to use the money to finance her own recording and entertainment business, Miller said.
Anderson told her that he would deposit the check and promised that it would never leave the United States. But he put the money into the Commercial Exchange Bank and Trust Ltd. of Anguilla in the British West Indies, Miller said.
‘He Falsified Records’
“I gave him my money in 1984 and a year later he called me to say he lost it all,” Gabriel said. “My money was supposed to be in a six-month time deposit with the Bank of America. Anderson said we were buying time to see where the economy was going. Meanwhile, he falsified records. He even showed me papers which showed my money was insured.”
Federal prosecutors said the offshore bank where her money was placed failed to register with either state or federal banking authorities. It ultimately lost $4 million in depositors’ funds.