The U.S. SEC announced yesterday that it had concluded that investors with brokerage accounts at the Stanford Group Company who purchased certificates of deposit through the broker-dealer were entitled to protected "customer" status under the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970. As such, the SEC referred the case to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation and asked the SIPA to initiate a court proceeding to liquidate the SGC. The broker-dealer, owned by Robert Allen Stanford, was charged in 2009 with perpetuating an $8 billion Ponzi scheme. For more information, see SEC release 2011-129 and SIPC's responding release.