Billionaire Financier Stanford Arrested By FBI
His girlfriend’s house was surrounded by Federal agents in black SUV’s this afternoon, they told him to walk out and introduce himself. So he did, and he asked them, ‘If you’ve got a warrant, take me into custody. If you don’t, I’m going to Houston.’ And they did, so they arrested him.
Chairman of the troubled Stanford Financial Group, R. Allen Stanford surrendered to FBI agents in Virginia Thursday afternoon, his attorney said. Law enforcement officials said Stanford is in custody after surrendering in Stafford, Va. Authorities plan to unseal an indictment charging Stanford on Friday, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
Stanford Financial Group has been under investigation by a grand jury in Houston. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges earlier this year accusing 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.
The SEC’s lawsuit charged that the bank advertised its CDs in a brochure touting a conservative investment philosophy. But instead the bank’s portfolio was “misappropriated by Defendant Allen Stanford and used by him to acquire private equity investments and real estate,” the suit says.
An amended complaint by the SEC has accused Stanford and his finance chief, James M. Davis, of conducting a “massive Ponzi scheme” in which early investors were paid returns from money put in by later investors. Davis promised in April to cooperate with federal investigators.
Stanford has maintained his innocence.
Stanford’s attorney in Houston, Dick DeGuerin told The Associated Press that Stanford “surrendered this afternoon to some FBI agents who were hiding out in black SUVs outside the residence where he was staying in Virginia.”
Richard Kolko the FBI spokesman declined to comment.
Chief investment officer, Laura Pendergest-Holt, of Stanford’s parent company, is facing criminal charges of obstructing the SEC’s investigation by lying about her knowledge of the firm’s activities and omitting key details.
“We heard the grand jury has been active, and we fully expect indictments,” her attorney Jeff Tillotson told the AP. “We obviously deny that our client has committed any crime.”
He has said she was “set up” by Stanford.