- The Washington Times - Friday, June 19, 2009

DALLAS | Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, chairman of the troubled Stanford Financial Group, surrendered to FBI agents in Virginia on Thursday afternoon, his attorney said.

Law enforcement officials said Mr. Stanford is in custody after surrendering in Stafford, Va. Authorities plan to unseal an indictment charging Mr. Stanford on Friday, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

Mr. Stanford is to appear in federal court in Richmond on Friday morning, they added.

A grand jury in Houston has been investigating Stanford Financial Group. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges earlier this year accusing Mr. Stanford and his top executives of conducting an $8 billion fraud by advising clients to buy certificates of deposit from the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.

Dick DeGuerin, Mr. Stanford’s attorney in Houston, said Mr. Stanford “surrendered this afternoon to some FBI agents who were hiding out in black SUVs outside the residence where he was staying in Virginia.”

“He walked out and asked if they had a warrant,” Mr. DeGuerin said.

He said Mr. Stanford told the FBI agents to arrest him if they had a warrant and said if they didn’t he would go back to Houston on Friday to turn himself in.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko declined to comment.

Before the SEC leveled fraud charges against Mr. Stanford, his personal fortune was estimated at $2.2 billion by Forbes magazine. He was a generous sports patron and owned homes in Antigua, St. Croix, Florida and Texas.

Nigel Hamilton-Smith, the Antiguan official named to oversee the liquidation of the offshore bank that was run by Mr. Stanford, has accused the tycoon of using client funds to pay for jets, lavish homes and yachts, Reuters news agency reported.

Mr. Stanford’s Antiguan liquidators and the company’s U.S.-based receiver have been locked in a battle over control of the offshore bank.

Ralph Janvey, the Dallas lawyer appointed by U.S. District Judge David Godbey to oversee Mr. Stanford’s assets and operations, has filed court papers arguing he should oversee the Antigua bank along with the U.S.-based Stanford entities he controls.

The Antiguan liquidators disagree.

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