Update 14 June 2012
HOUSTON—R. Allen Stanford, the once-highflying financier convicted of masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in federal prison.
The punishment amounts to an effective life sentence for Mr. Stanford, who is 62 years old and used to live extravagantly aboard yachts, jets and homes around the world.
“I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme, I didn’t defraud anybody, and there was never any intent to defraud anybody,” Mr. Stanford, wearing a green prison jumpsuit, told U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner before he was sentenced.
In a rambling statement, marked with long pauses as he choked up and wiped away tears, Mr. Stanford accused the government of using “Gestapo tactics” and blamed it for the billions of dollars in losses to his investors.
Mr. Stanford’s sentence was 40 years less than the prison term given to Bernard Madoff, but 100 years more than his lawyers had asked for.
FBI agents tracked down billionaire R. Allen Stanford at the Virginia home of an acquaintance Thursday and served him with legal papers in a civil case alleging he orchestrated an $8 billion fraud scam.
But there have been no criminal charges filed against him so he remains free, said FBI spokesman Richard Kolko.
Stanford was in Fredericksburg, Va., sitting in a car outside the home of an acquaintance, Kolko said. www.chicagotribune.com
UPDATE FROM THE BBC
Texan billionaire and cricket promoter Sir Allen Stanford has been charged over a $8bn (£5.6bn) investment fraud, US financial regulators say.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said the financier had orchestrated “a fraudulent, multi-billion dollar investment scheme”.
The SEC said the fraud was “based on false promises and fabricated historical return data”.
English cricket bosses have pulled out of sponsorship talks with Sir Allen.
The charges against Sir Allen, three of his companies and two executives of those companies followed a raid by US marshals on the Houston, Texas, offices of Stanford Financial Group.
A US judge has frozen the assets of Sir Allen and the other defendants as well as those of the Stanford Group, its Antigua-based subsidiary Stanford International Bank (SIB) and another subsidiary, investment advisor Stanford Capital Management.
A receiver has been appointed to “preserve assets for investors”, the SEC said.
The SEC said that the Stanford International Bank – the largest in the Caribbean – sold approximately $8bn worth of certificates of deposit to investors, promising “improbable and unsubstantiated high interest rates”.
The bank was “operated by a close circle of Stanford’s family and friends”, the SEC said in a statement.
“We are alleging a fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its tentacles throughout the world,” said Rose Romero of the SEC.
The SEC began investigating Stanford Group last year and intensified their probe following the arrest of US financier Bernard Madoff in December over an alleged $50bn (£35bn) investment fraud.
In the wake of that scandal, SIB falsely told its investors it had no exposure to the funds involved in the alleged Madoff fraud.
The Stanford Group lists its worth as more than $40bn. Antigua and Barbuda granted Sir Allen citizenship about 10 years ago and knighted him in 2006.
Forbes magazine lists him as the world’s 605th richest man, with assets of $2.2bn.
Sir Allen Stanford apologised on Monday October 27 to Kevin Pietersen after he was caught on television flirting with the wives and girlfriends of the England players.
By Nick Hoult–The Telegraph.
Stanford was seen to grab and put Emma Prior, the wife of wicketkeeper Matt, on his lap before putting his arm around Alastair Cook’s girlfriend during England’s match against Middlesex on Sunday evening.
The incident was captured on television by the cameraman who tracks Sir Allen’s every move. It seemed a good natured incident at the time and the players wives smiled and went along with the fun. But it seems the incident caused embarrassment and made them feel uncomfortable. One unnamed England player said last night: If that was my wife and he put her in his lap I would have wanted to punch him.
Stuart Broad, the England bowler, said: There were a few gobsmacked faces. I did not see it because I was bowling at the time but I think Matt Prior had a look of shock on his face.
Stanford moved quickly on Monday to restore good relations with the players, apologising to Prior and Pietersen for his behaviour.
Stanford kept a noticeably lower profile and was rarely featured on television during the match between Middlesex and Trinidad.