CaribWorldNews, HOUSTON, TX, Weds. June 24, 2009: Former billionaire, R. Allen Stanford, could face criminal charges in a Houston Court as early as today.
The knighted, American-born, naturalized Antigua and Barbuda resident, is being brought back to Houston from Virginia by U.S. Marshals, chained at the waist and shackled in leg irons on the popularly called airplane, `ConAir.` It is a far cry from the private jet the former flashy businessman was accustomed to.
Stanford will face criminal fraud charges even as his lawyer is asking a U.S. judge to dismiss civil fraud claims against him. Those charges relate to the civil lawsuit filed in February by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC claims Stanford, two associates and three of his companies swindled investors in a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Stanford said the SEC claims don’t properly specify who defrauded investors and how the acts were carried out.
Stanford, founder of the Stanford International Bank, was indicted on Friday, June 19th of criminal charges that mirror allegations in the civil lawsuit.
Stanford was arrested in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on June 18 after being indicted on 21 counts of conspiracy, fraud, obstruction and money laundering in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud investors through the sale of $7.2 billion in bogus certificates of deposit at Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd.
The founder and chairman of Stanford Financial Group, Stanford was arrested in Virginia Friday after being indicted in Houston on 21 charges of conspiracy, fraud, and obstruction of justice. Federal prosecutors allege he and others operated a $7 billion Ponzi scheme that included bribes paid to a bank regulator in Antigua.
A federal judge in Virginia ordered that Stanford’s transfer to Houston be expedited. A magistrate this morning could determine if he can be released on bond. He could face 250 years in jail if convicted.
Laura Pendergest-Holt, Gilberto Lopez and Mark Kuhrt, three of his co-defendants, are free on bond and scheduled to appear in court Thursday.Former Antigua Financial Regulatory Commission head, Leroy King, also remains free for now.