The Houston Chronicle reaches out to 81-year old James Stanford, Chairman emeritus of Stanford Financial and the father of the country’s new most famous fugitive:
Chronicle reporter Lindsay Wise interviewed the elder Stanford Wednesday at his office in the Waco-area Texas town of Mexia. Here are some excerpts:
Q: How did you find out (about the SEC’s charges)?
A: I was called by some people, friends of ours, who’d seen it on television… and I said, “What in the world?” I’d spoken to him a week or so ago—he’d called—about problems with the business climate in general, but nothing of this magnitude. I cannot imagine, I cannot believe, I will not believe what is being alleged actually happened.
Q: And have you spoken to your son since all this happened?
A: About last week, maybe last Thursday or Friday he called.
Q: And what did you all talk about?
A: He just told me to watch the papers, the Wall Street Journal and all that. He said something, stuff that had been rumoured, but nothing like this. Anyway, that’s what I know.
Q: Did he tell you he thought the business was struggling?
A: Everything, all the financial industries are having problems, stock market’s been down, earnings are low, I mean everything, everything is turned upside down.
Q: So you thought it was just something like that, like maybe a bankruptcy or something?
A: I didn’t know a thing about that.
Q: You just thought there might be some bad news in the newspaper?
Q: Did you try and reach him after you found out yesterday?
A: I tried one time at a number we had and it’s a cell number, but we couldn’t get through to him.
Q: So he’s in Antigua?
A: I don’t know where he is. I could not answer that. What I hear that they’re looking for him. That’s what I heard on television, so I do not know. I cannot believe that my son would run.
Q: Are you worried about him?
A: Yes, I’m worried for his safety. You know, he’s my son.