The Tiger Woods Foundation and Tiger Woods Charity Event Corp are in danger of losing $500,000 after failing to convince a federal judge to dismiss a receiver's suit seeking to recover charitable donations from infamous Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, according to Bill Rochelle and Sherri Toub of Bloomberg News.
Ralph Janvey, the court-appointed receiver for Stanford's $7 billion scam, sued the foundation in April, calling the contributions "fraudulent transfers" and demanding that they be rescinded "because the funds used were those of innocent, unwitting investors in the bank's fraudulent Ponzi scheme."
On Oct. 15, U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey in Dallas denied the charities' motion to dismiss the suit on the grounds that Janvey had waited too long to file a claim.
Judge Godbey decided that it was “perfectly reasonable to surmise that the generally complex and obfuscated nature of the Stanford financial records made these particular transfers difficult to discover.”
Stanford, 63, is serving a 110-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2012 of running a massive global Ponzi scheme that ensnared a handful of major sports organizations, including the PGA Tour, and several professional athletes, like Henrik Stenson. The four-time PGA Tour-winner from Sweden is estimated to have lost more than $8 million, according to The Telegraph, though he said recently that his total losses have never been counted.
"There are still people trying to sort through that entire mess," Stenson told Golf Magazine in August. "I honestly don't even know exactly what happened."
To be clear, Woods' foundation has not been accused of participating in any illegal activity. According to the Courthouse News Service, as of April 30, Janvey had filed about 50 lawsuits against recipients of the stolen funds since his appointment.
Emily Taylor, vice president for communications and marketing at the Tiger Woods Foundation, declined to comment on the recent decision, citing "the foundation's policy not to comment on pending legal matters."
Attempts to reach Janvey at his law firm, Krage & Janvey, in Dallas, were unsuccessful.