- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

DALLAS (AP) - Attorneys for Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford has asked a judge to release $10 million of his seized assets so he can pay for a defense against accusations of running a massive Ponzi scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil charges against Stanford and the top officers of the Stanford Financial Group in February, saying they were involved in an $8 billion fraud where investors were lied to about the safety of investments sold by the bank as certificates of deposit and promised unrealistically high rates of return.

Texas attorney Ralph Janvey was appointed receiver by the court to take over companies owned by Stanford.

“All of Allen Stanford’s money, all of his records, and most of his clothing and personal possessions were seized by the Receiver … the same orders left him with no assets to retain counsel to represent him,” according to a court filing Sunday on behalf of Stanford.

Attorneys are asking the court for $10 million to be placed into an account in the name of famed Texas attorney Dick DeGuerin to pay for legal fees, expert witnesses, travel and other expenses to defend Stanford.

“The cost of Allen Stanford’s representation in this Court and many others through the years it will take to conclude this litigation will almost certainly exceed $20 million,” according to documents filed with a federal court in Dallas.

Stanford previously filed a response denying the SEC’s allegations without a lawyer and blamed Janvey for not being able to hire an attorney.

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