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Business

Texan billionaire Stanford surrenders to FBI

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-19

Allen Stanford, a Texas billionaire accused of massive fraud, has surrendered to the authorities to face criminal charges, his lawyer said. Stanford already faces civil charges over claims he fraudulently sold $8 billion in certificates of deposit.

REUTERS - Texas billionaire Allen Stanford has surrendered to authorities and will face criminal charges on Friday over allegations of massive fraud involving certificates of deposit issued by his Antigua bank, his lawyer said.

 

Stanford was due to appear in a federal court in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday morning, the Associated Press said, citing federal authorities.

 

The 59-year-old golf and cricket promoter gave himself up in Virginia on Thursday, Dick DeGuerin, Stanford's Texas attorney, told Reuters by telephone.

 

"He surrendered," DeGuerin said after speaking with Stanford, who had been staying with his girlfriend in Fredericksburg, about 50 miles (80 km) south of Washington. "He's in FBI custody."

 

The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment.

 

It was not yet clear what criminal charges Stanford faces. According to the Houston Chronicle, a grand jury weighing the charges returned a sealed indictment earlier on Thursday.

 

Stanford already faces civil charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that he fraudulently sold $8 billion in certificates of deposit with improbably high interest rates from his Stanford International Bank Ltd, headquartered in Antigua.

 

Stanford has denied any wrongdoing.

 

Before the SEC leveled fraud charges against 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 Stanford, has accused the tycoon of using client funds to pay for jets, lavish homes and yachts.

 

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 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.
 

Date created : 2009-06-19