- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 19, 2009

DEVELOPING:

FBI Agents served financier R. Allen Stanford on Thursday with civil court papers accusing him of orchestrating an $8 billion fraud.

Mr. Stanford, 58, the head of Stanford Financial Group Co., was found in Fredericksburg, Va., despite speculation that he had fled overseas.

Mr. Stanford was not arrested and does not face criminal charges. The Justice Department has declined to comment about the case.

The federal government says Mr. Stanford’s investment businesses were too good to be true and shut his companies down Tuesday.

Two months after Bernard Madoff was accused of running the largest investment fraud in history, Securities and Exchange Commission officials raided the offices of Mr. Stanford, a Texas billionaire, and froze the assets of three companies he controls, saying he perpetrated an $8 billion investment fraud.

Mr. Stanford was accused in civil charges of lying about the safety of investments he sold as “certificates of deposit” and promised unrealistically high rates of return. Regulators also said he faked historical data about other investments, which he then used to lure in more investors for the CD products.

Mr. Stanford owns a home in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and operates his businesses from Houston and Antigua, where Mr. Stanford was knighted in 2006 and helped sponsor high-stakes cricket matches.

This article is based in part on wire reports.

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