The allegations of bribery and political manipulation that have emerged during the trial of alleged Ponzi schemer, Allen Stanford are astounding.
From bribing Antiguan officials, as Reuters’ Anna Driver reported yesterday, to laundering money for Mexican cartels, Stanford’s charges are only matched by the incredible life he lead before authorities caught up with him. He denies all wrong-doing.
While the trial only began last week, the case goes back many years in the colourful life the truly flamboyant billionaire.
Stanford grew his financial empire from a father-son real estate partnership, which raked in millions from buying and selling distressed Houston properties during the 1980s
After his father retired in 1993, Stanford moved to Antigua where he set up Stanford International Bank -- the beginnings of Stanford Financial Group.
At its height, SFG included six companies and affiliates throughout the Caribbean and the US.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Stanford is said to have sold $7 billion in certificates of deposits to investors over more than a decade, pushing hypothetical market-beating results as historical data.
He denies any wrongdoing.
Stanford allegedly used investor money to support his flamboyant lifestyle, including lavish properties, a yacht and private jets
The FBI is also investigating whether Stanford was involved in laundering drug money for Mexico's feared Gulf Cartel.
The divorcee is a notorious flirt, caught here getting touchy with the wives of English cricketers at a game in Barbados
Stanford managed to evade investigators for years with the help of at least eight former senior US and foreign regulators and law-enforcement officials, who he paid for legal advice
Fraud allegations finally stuck in February 2009, when Stanford's Texas offices were raided by the FBI
He attempted to pay a private jet company to fly him to the Caribbean before the FBI could track him down
'I was on the telephone and some of the other people in the cell didn't like it,' he told a friend who visited him.
Stanford spent three weeks in solitary confinement before being moved to another institution.
Source: Daily Mail
Stanford's all-star defence team, including Dick DeGuerin and Robert Luskin, abandoned him because he couldn't access money to pay the hot-shot attorneys
His lawyers are now attempting to convince the jury that Stanford was a big picture man, leaving the day-to-day running of Stanford Financial to other executives
He is heaping the blame on Laura Holt, chief investment officer at Stanford's Memphis office, and the firm's second-in-charge, James Davis, who is helping prosecutors build the case against his former boss.
The fraud charges aren't his only concern — the Bellagio, in Las Vegas, is is suing him for $258,480 in gambling debts
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