Friday, June 19, 2009
Last February the SEC charged that R. Allen Stanford ran a $7 billion Ponzi scheme through two entities, Stanford International Bank and Stanford Financial Group. Today Stanford was arrested, and federal prosecutors filed federal fraud and obstruction charges against Stanford, Laura Pendergest-Holt, the chief investment officer, and two accountants who allegedly fabricated accounting statements. In addition, Leroy King, the administrator of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission in Antigua and Barbuda, was charged with accepting $100,000 in bribes to look the other way and to provide Stanford with information about the SEC investigation.
The SEC also amended its complaint to bring charges against the two accountants and King. According to the complaint, King holds both U.S. and Antiguan citizenship and has a residence in Atlanta.
Mr. Stanford's attorney, in a written statement, said his client will fight the charges and is confident of being found not guilty and that he blames the SEC for the investors' losses.