Messina has spent the last several weeks navigating Friedman "through the Stanford maze," as the attorney puts it, either by introducing him to other former Stanford wealth managers or by explaining to him where the money was supposed to go and how it was supposed to grow. The attorney has nothing but the kindest things to say about Messina: He calls him "a good guy," "honest," "reliable." Messina says he remains in contact with 100 of his clients on a daily basis. He insists, no, he doesn't feel guilty about his involvement in their plight. But he does feel responsible.

"We are the ones who are left cleaning up the mess, and we didn't make the mess," he says. "All of our clients have accepted the fact that we will fight the battle, and we are going to see where we can recover assets and where we can collect. The clients accept that. But what they can't accept is when they are going to get their money."

R. Allen Stanford faces federal allegations that his bank was a “massive Ponzi scheme.”
REUTERS/Newscom
R. Allen Stanford faces federal allegations that his bank was a “massive Ponzi scheme.”
The Stanford office in Miami, with its brass-studded leather couches resting on Oriental rugs, conjured up images of an old British banker in his study. Allen Stanford was from Mexia.
The Stanford office in Miami, with its brass-studded leather couches resting on Oriental rugs, conjured up images of an old British banker in his study. Allen Stanford was from Mexia.

Robert Wilonsky, Kimberly Thorpe and Craig Malisow contributed to this story.

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