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FBI sweeps into cricket boss Sir Allen Stanford’s bank
#1
Quote:Despite requiring a minimum investment of $50,000, SIB has grown rapidly in recently years, attracting at least 30,000 depositors, mostly from Latin America.

Hhmmm. Cocaine money laundering perhaps?

**

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo...734080.ece

From The Sunday Times
February 15, 2009
FBI sweeps into cricket boss Sir Allen Stanford’s bank

[Image: STN-stanford_487240a.jpg]

The returns offered by an offshore operation owned by the billionaire Allen Stanford have aroused suspicion

Sir Allen Stanford with three girls during a match
Robert Watts
AN offshore bank owned by Sir Allen Stanford, the billionaire whose $1m-a-player tournament rocked the cricket world, is understood to be under investigation by the FBI.

Agents are examining the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank (SIB), which has paid investors returns twice as large as conventional banks, after former employees said they witnessed “unethical and illegal practices”.

It is part of a wave of investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission - the American equivalent of the Financial Services Authority - and other regulators amid fears that some investment schemes are vulnerable to collapse due to the global financial crisis.

Details of the inquiries have come to light as the England and Wales Cricket Board negotiates a new contract with the colourful Texan, whose antics at last year’s Twenty20 for $20m tournament incensed many of the game’s fans. The divorced father-of-six was forced to apologise after he was photographed with one of the England player’s wives sitting on his lap.

The bank confirmed that an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission was under way, but declined to comment on reports that the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service had also been examining the bank for “many months”.

The FBI refused to comment, but six investigators from the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority entered the bank’s offices last month.

The investigations were sparked by two former employees, Mark Tidwell and Charles Rawl, who have filed documents in a Texan court that claim they were forced to leave after complaining about “unethical and illegal practices at the firm”. They allege that SIB gave clients falsified data on investment performance and that it destroyed documents during an earlier SEC investigation.

Despite requiring a minimum investment of $50,000, SIB has grown rapidly in recently years, attracting at least 30,000 depositors, mostly from Latin America. The bank has $8.6 billion under management. Investigators are trying to establish how SIB consistently funded returns that were often twice as large as those of other banks.

In an e-mail to staff, Stanford said his company was cooperating with the investigations, adding that “former disgruntled employees” had made complaints that could complicate an “otherwise routine” examination.

“I want to assure you that if they find any areas in which we need to improve or alter our operations, we will take immediate action to correct them,” he added.

Regulators are also examining concerns raised by Alex Dalmady, an analyst who claims that SIB used a little-known West Indian firm called CSA Hewlett to audit its accounts.

Dalmady also raised concerns about those managing the bank’s investments. “There is one board member, an 85-year-old cattle rancher and used-car dealership owner, who has the title of ‘invest-ments’,” he said in a report. The SEC is stepping up its oversight of investment companies after the $50 billion collapse of Bernie Madoff’s funds.

SIB said the bank had always acted within the law. “After the Wall Street excesses of the past decade, and the lax regulatory environment which made it possible, it is to be expected that regulatory agencies would look into every allegation regardless of how baseless it may be,” a spokesman said.

GOLD HELICOPTER

Flamboyance and controversy are Sir Allen Stanford’s hallmarks. He announced his inaugural Twenty20 cricket tournament by landing at Lord’s in a gold-plated helicopter. After concern from Buckingham Palace, he recently changed a page on his website that said he was knighted by the Earl of Wessex. The honour was in fact bestowed by Antigua’s government.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#2
Cricket tycoon Sir Allen Stanford caught up in spying row

The Texan billionaire behind the controversial $20 million (£12 million) winner-takes-all tournament which split the world of cricket is now at the centre of an international spying row, it can be revealed.



By Patrick Sawer
Last Updated: 7:12AM GMT 09 Nov 2008

[Image: NEStanford_1110302f.jpg] Sir Allen Stanford Photo: PA


Officials from Venezuelan military intelligence raided a branch of Sir Allen Stanford's offshore bank over claims that its employees were paid by the CIA to spy on the south American country.
The officials spent three hours searching files and documents at the Stanford International Banks' offices in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, removing several of them for closer inspection.
The raid came on the eve of Sir Allen's "Twenty20 for $20 million" tournament last Saturday, which saw England beaten by a team of West Indies stars playing under the tycoon's name at his personal cricket ground, on the Caribbean island of Antigua.
The controversy will raise further questions about Sir Allen's involvement with English cricket, which many see as damaging to the game's reputation.
The English Cricket Board has signed a $100 million five year deal with the Texan, allowing him to stage another four Twenty20 tournaments - in which the winning players are paid $1 million and the losers walk away with nothing.
Under the deal Sir Allen has promised to contribute several million dollars to the development of the game in England and the Caribbean.
But the fact that Sir Allen had to publicly deny rumours that his fiancee had an affair with one of the cricketers taking part in the tournament, as well as pictures of him cavorting with some of the England players' wives and girlfriends, did little to allay the fears of critics, who claim the deal has compromised the integrity of the game and turned it into a money-grabbing circus.
The raid, on October 31, saw officials arrive at the bank's offices in Caracas's Avenida Tamanaco armed with search warrants. It is thought to have been carried out on the orders of Venezuela's chief military prosecutor, General Ernesto Cedeno.
State-owned broadcaster Venezolana TV reported that the raid was part of an investigation into individuals it said had "allegedly committed the crime of espionage" and "may have been part of the US government".
It is understood the spying claims centre around three of the bank's employees and, in particular, its head of security, who had previously worked for the US federal government. He was first accused of being a CIA spy when he was hired by Stanford just over two years ago.
Sources suggest the case may have been revived as an anti-US propaganda ploy to boost the popularity of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in local and regional elections being staged this month.
The left-wing leader has long been a thorn in the side of the US Government and he has frequently accused Washington of trying to undermine his regime.
Chavez is currently in the process of nationalizing the Spanish-owned Bank of Venezuela and last year threatened to take over entire banking sector.
Stanford International Bank - which was founded during the Depression of the 1930s by Sir Allen's grandfather - handles $51 billion in worldwide deposits and assets.
The Stanford Group's spokeswoman, Lula Rodriguez, denied that any of the bank's employees were involved in spying.
She said: "As an international company, operating in over 12 countries, it is our global policy to respect and operate under the laws and regulatory framework of every country in which we operate. It is also our global policy to cooperate with any country's investigative authorities when asked to do so."
As if an espionage row was not enough, Sir Allen is also caught up in a bitter legal battle in which he is accused by Antiguan businesswoman Makeda Mikael of trying to force her off land on which she runs a firm handling VIP and celebrity flights at the island's airport.
The country's United Progressive Party administration - which unseated the Antigua Labour Party in March 2003 after five decades in power - is backing Ms Mikael, 66. She appealed to the Privy Council in Britain after losing the case in Antigua's Court of Appeal.
A judgement is expected shortly and should the Privy Council find against Sir Allen he could be forced into an embarrassing climb down over his ambitious plans for Antigua's VC Bird International Airport.
Sir Allen - who has a personal fortune of $2.2 billion from banking and property development despite a period of bankruptcy in the 1980s - is also facing questions in the US over his company's actions during an offshore banking deal.
The Stanford Group is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over deposits made at his bank's Antiguan headquarters.
The investigation was sparked by allegations made by former employees Charles Rawl and Mark Tidwell, who claimed they were forced to resign by the bank because they did not want to take part in illegal activities.
Ms Rodriguez dismissed the allegations, saying: "They have been made by disgruntled employees and are totally without merit."



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket...g-row.html



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"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#3
You could't make this stuff up could you.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#4
Magda Hassan Wrote:Officials from Venezuelan military intelligence raided a branch of Sir Allen Stanford's offshore bank over claims that its employees were paid by the CIA to spy on the south American country.

Brilliant. Instead of investigative journalists, we now have Venezuelan military intelligence.

Of course, as David suggests, it's entirely plausible that Stanford was running a spookily connected drug running operation through a bought-and-paid-for Caribbean island with pliant airports and somnolent customs officials.

Antigua run as Their island, like the Mob-owned Cuba before the Revolution....
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#5
Dont'cha just lurve that Torygraph spin on the claims that Sir Alan could have been running a CIA front company:

Quote:It is understood the spying claims centre around three of the bank's employees and, in particular, its head of security, who had previously worked for the US federal government. He was first accused of being a CIA spy when he was hired by Stanford just over two years ago.
Sources suggest the case may have been revived as an anti-US propaganda ploy to boost the popularity of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in local and regional elections being staged this month.

I wonder who the Torygraph's "sources" could be?

Educated guesses on a dollar bill, pleeze... :itsme:
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#6
Venezuela seizes US 'fraud' bank

[Image: 20092172081976580_5.gif] Stanford has an estimated personal
fortune of about $2bn [Reuters]
Venezuela has seized a local bank owned by Allen Stanford, the billionaire accused of a massive $8bn fraud by the US, after panicked investors withdrew millions of dollars worth of deposits.
Ali Rodriguez, the Venezuelan finance minister, said on Thursday that Stanford Bank SA would be sold and the government would back all deposits, after at least $26.5m was withdrawn in two days.
The move comes despite the Venezualan government trying to reassure depositors that the local bank was healthy.
Venezuela also closed all branches of Stanford Bank SA and said all further transactions would be suspended.
Authorities in five Latin American nations have now taken action against Stanford businesses, with Ecuador seizing two local branches of the group on Thursday, the Reuters news agency reported.
Whereabouts 'unknown'
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) raided Stanford's Houston offices on Tuesday and filed civil fraud charges against him and two of his executives, accusing him of fraudulently selling $8 billion in certificates of deposit with impossibly high interest rates to investors across the world.
The SEC also froze Stanford's assets and those of three of his companies, Stanford International Bank, based in Antigua, and Stanford Group and Stanford Capital Management, both based in Houston.
Depositors across Latin America and the Caribbean have since rushed to withdraw savings from Stanford-controlled banks.
The current whereabouts of Stanford, a billionaire from Texas, remain unknown, authorities say.
'Catastrophic' consequences
Regulators allege Stanford forged historical data about investments which he then used to lure more investors for his products.
On Wednesday in the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda where Stanford is the biggest private employer, Baldwin Spencer, the prime minister, said the SEC charges could have "catastrophic" consequences, but urged the public not to panic.
But in Antigua's capital, St John's, the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, Mexico City and other cities hundreds lined up outside Stanford banks and offices to withdraw funds.
Stanford, 58, is one of the most prominent businessmen in the Caribbean, with a personal fortune estimated at $2.2bn by Forbes magazine.
The charges are the latest to be brought after an increase in scrutiny by investors, politicians and regulators on the returns promised and provided by investment firms, following the massive alleged $50bn fraud by Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street financier.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#7
The FBI found him and did NOT arrest him....hmmm....now how come when someone is caught taking a loaf of bread they are not just served with papers and not arrested. I guess they just assume rich people are honorable, all!...:rofl: :rofl: It does have a certain smell like BCCI and Nugan-Hand before that.....well, 'ya gotta keep the illegal money for the secret ops and drug/arms sales SOMEWHERE! Chavez just added one more reason for the CIA to try to harm him again.....methinks.

I think there are many more 'shoes' to drop all around the world....hoax of the last centuries: finance capitalism and banking.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The FBI says its agents have found Texan billionaire and prominent cricket supporter Allen Stanford in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area and served him with court papers accusing him of massive fraud.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko says the bureau acted at the request of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and that Stanford - whose whereabouts had been unknown for the past few days - had not been arrested.

He says he does not know whether Stanford has surrendered his passport.

The SEC's complaint - accusing Stanford of an $8 billion ($12.5 billion) fraud - was served by agents from the FBI's office in Richmond, Virginia.

"The agents served Mr Stanford with court orders related to the SEC civil filing against the Stanford Financial Group," Mr Kolko said.

Stanford and three of his companies are charged with fraud in a civil complaint filed in Federal Court in Dallas, Texas.

Stanford and two other executives are accused of fraudulently selling high-yield certificates of deposit in a scheme that stretched around the world.
Reply
#8
My heart bleeds for the Venezuelan elites....

Quote:In Venezuela, where a Stanford bank was seized by government regulators on Thursday, wealthy investors complained that they had been driven to put their money into the entrepreneur's controversial certificates of deposit in order to get it away from Hugo Chávez's socialist regime. About a quarter of the $8bn invested in Stanford's allegedly fraudulent certificates of deposit is thought to have come from Venezuela.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/...ons-seized

I wonder if Uncle Sam will come riding to their aid.

Whoops - Stanford appears to be a CIA money laundering front which - like Nugan Hand - will vanish along with its deposits...
Big Grin
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply
#9
Apparently the FBI have had him on their radar for 20 years. He had to hand over $3 milllion to the authorities when it was 'discovered' that his bank was found to have been used by some drug cartels to launder money. As many as five investigations happened but no charges were laid. This may be because he has donated over $2.4 million to various politicians. Interestingly, there is also the recent death (Jan 1) of his accountant. Charlesworth Hewlett who may have dies from simple old age at 73 years of age but maybe he was Frank Nuganed.


*********************************************************************************


Sir Allen Stanford: how the small-town Texas boy evaded scrutiny to become a big-time 'fraudster'

For a town of just 10,000 people, it is remarkable that Mexia - motto "a great place, no matter how you pronounce it" - should throw up two larger-than-life characters: Anna Nicole Smith and Sir Allen Stanford.



By Andrew Alderson, Philip Sherwell in New York, and Patrick Sawer
Last Updated: 10:08PM GMT 21 Feb 2009

[Image: allen-stanford_1318973c.jpg] On Friday, as the ECB sheepishly announced it had severed its ties with the 58-year-old banker following allegations that he carried out a $9.2 billion fraud Photo: AP


At first glance, Ms Smith and Sir Allen have little in common beyond their birthplace. The surgically enhanced former Playmate of the Year was the model, actress and sex symbol who died from a drug overdose in 2007, nine months before her 40th birthday.
Sir Allen, who has also been under the plastic surgeon's knife, is the flamboyant businessman turned cricket entrepreneur who last week left the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ruing its involvement with him.
Yet both celebrities, despite coming from a town which owes its past prosperity to the Texas oil fields on which it sits, were determined from a young age to dig for gold: Ms Smith famously snared a billionaire husband 63 years her senior after meeting him at her strip club, while Sir Allen – if the allegations against him are proved – preferred to use gullible investors, US politicians and sporting icons to bring him fame and fortune.
On Friday, as the ECB sheepishly announced it had severed its ties with the 58-year-old banker following allegations that he carried out a $9.2 billion fraud, Sir Allen's fellow Texans were coming to terms with life in the spotlight.
His current lifestyle, which includes a $10 million Florida mansion and $100 million fleet of private jets, is a far cry from his roots in Mexia. Sir Allen started in the family insurance business in the mid-1970s as a salesman and book-keeper. In the early 1980s, he and his father bought Texan homes cheaply during an oil crash and the sold them for a profit when the market improved. This provided funds for Stanford Jnr to launch offshore ventures largely based in Antigua, the Caribbean island where financial scrutiny is anything but draconian.
Today Mexia, now a quiet ranching community, provides important clues to how Sir Allen was able to avoid scrutiny for so long: two octogenarian residents sit on the six-person board of directors for the multi-billion Stanford group empire.
One is his father James, an 81-year-old former mayor, who still lives in the modest single-storey home that has been the family residence since 1924. The other is Oliver Goswick, 85, a local car dealer, rancher and family friend. Despite his lack of finance expertise or college education, Mr Goswick holds what should be a key post as overseer of investments for the board.
Yet, according to his son, Dick, Mr Goswick has been barely able to communicate since suffering a stroke in 2000 – even though he is described on the company website as an "active investor". Dick Goswick said that even before the stroke his father and Mr Stanford Snr did not have the financial know-how to understand the business. "These two gentlemen were so far out of place," he said.
The lack of oversight of the bank's investment strategy – raised regularly by former employees over the past six years – was at the centre of last week's civil claim from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) , the Wall Street regulator, that Sir Allen had perpetrated a "massive, ongoing fraud". The FBI is also investigating him with a view to bringing criminal charges.
But how had the SEC ignored the warning signs for so long? And how had the ECB board been successfully wooed by Sir Allen when other major cricket nations wanted nothing to do with him?
It was Forbes, the business magazine, which last year estimated Sir Allen's personal wealth at $2.2 billion
(£1.5 billion). In an interview with the publication, he said: "How do you spot a liar? You ask him the same question three different ways and see if his answers are consistent."
Perhaps nobody has ever taken Sir Allen at his word, because it emerged last week how he has apparently been deceitful about everything from his family background to how he was investing an estimated $50 billion (£35 billion) for 50,000 investors.
Sir Allen had long claimed to be related to Leland Stanford, the founder of Stanford University in California. He even funded the restoration of Leland Stanford's mansion in Sacramento "to preserve an important piece of Stanford family history". Yet, according to the university itself, no family connection exists.
His alleged lies to those who invested millions with him – attracted by his high-interest returns – were on a different scale. The SEC says that the Stanford group's massive portfolio was not, as claimed, monitored by a team of 20 analysts, but by Sir Allen and one or two key allies.
According to court papers prepared by the SEC, Sir Allen and his former college room-mate and fellow board member James Davis held 90 per cent of their investments in a "black box" hidden from view or oversight.
Mr Davis, chief financial officer of Stanford Investment Bank, and Sir Allen are said by investigators to be the only ones who knew the precise details of the investments made on behalf of clients who are now desperate to retrieve their money.
Mr Davis has worked for 30 years at Sir Allen's side. The SEC's writ charges Mr Davis with aiding the cover-up of the fraud, stating: "SIB goes to great lengths to prevent any true independent examination of the those portfolios."
Also cited in the SEC writ is Laura Pendergest-Holt, the group's chief investment officer, who the SEC says was "indispensable to this scheme by helping preserve the appearance of safety fabricated by Stanford and by training others to mislead investors".
The SEC alleges: "Investors frequently inquired whether Allen Stanford could 'run off with the money" and Pendergest-Holt trained [staff] 'not to divulge too much' about oversight of the portfolio because that information 'wouldn't leave an investor with a lot of confidence'."
This weekend the SEC is hoping that Ms Pendergest-Holt will provide evidence against her former boss: a process which may already have started. The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that she was questioned under oath for four hours at the SEC's offices in Forth Worth, Texas, on February 10, just a week before SIB's US offices were raided.
There are, however, many who believe the SEC acted too slowly. It emerged last week that law-enforcement officers have been sniffing around Sir Allen's business empire since the 1990s, after he lost his banking licence in the Caribbean island of Monserrat (a decision which was revoked by the courts on appeal).
The murkiness of the group's finances rang alarm bells with others, as did events in 1997, when the bank was involved in a Drugs Enforcement Agency probe into the laundering of Mexican drug cartel funds. SIB cooperated with the inquiry, handed over $3 million
(£2.1 billion) from a Mexican customer and was not accused of any wrongdoing.
Jeffrey Robinson, one of world's leading experts on international financial crime, said: "Stanford first came on to my radar 12 to 15 years ago when I was looking at bank activities in Antigua. I know an FBI agent who has been trying to pin [drug] charges on him for a decade and prosecutors who have been looking at him for many years. He took the Robert Maxwell approach, developed this larger-than-life persona and started to believe his own publicity."
If anyone outside Sir Allen's tight-knit group of colleagues should have been aware that not everything was as it seemed, it was his British-qualified accountant. For 10 years, Charlesworth "Shelley" Hewlett had been responsible for auditing the bank's investment portfolio. However, the alleged fraud appears to have escaped his attention.
This weekend Mr Hewlett's family and friends expressed shock and surprise that he should have been caught up in the scandal. However, any secrets he knew he has taken to his grave. Mr Hewlett died, aged 73, on January 1.
One of the last people to speak to Mr Hewlett was his friend George Jones, a character actor who divides his time between London and Antigua. "Shelley was an honest, God-fearing and law-abiding person. If he had been aware of anything suspicious, he would have quickly and quietly disassociated himself from it," he said.
But the SEC's writ questions why SIB employed the services of "a small local accounting firm in Antigua" to oversee its investment portfolio.
The accountant, along with his wife Delvine, divided his time between his offices in the Antiguan capital of St John's and London, where Mr Hewlett worked out of an anonymous office on a busy road in the suburb of Enfield, before re-locating four years ago to his terrace house in nearby Haringey.
Hours after Sir Allen, whose whereabouts were unknown last week for several days, was tracked down by the FBI to his girlfriend's brother's house in Virginia, the ECB announced that it was terminating his contract with immediate effect.
But many inside and outside the sport have been dismayed at the way that David Collier and Giles Clarke, chief executive and chairman of the ECB, were willing to do business with Sir Allen when other countries, notably Australia and South Africa, shunned him.
Lord Marland, the former Conservative Party treasurer who stood down earlier this month in the contest to challenge Mr Clarke as chairman, told The Sunday Telegraph that he had been suspicious of the way that Sir Allen "came out of the blue" to English cricket. "This ECB management has been responsible for a catalogue of disasters, and something has got to change." he said.
It was early last summer that the ECB negotiated a secret, five-year deal, whereby Sir Allen pumped millions of pounds into the sport in this country – with everyone from leading players to the 18 county sides due to receive a slice of his largesse.
Ever the showman, Sir Allen marked clinching the deal by arriving in June on the Lord's outfield in a hired helicopter bearing his logo. He then wheeled out a box supposedly containing $20 million (£14 million): the prize for a winner-takes-all Twenty20 match between England and his team of West Indian superstars: a match won by the Caribbean players last year.
If Sir Allen's behaviour at Lord's was crass, there was worse to come. A renowned womaniser, he was caught on the giant video screen at the match in Antigua, flirting outrageously with the wives and girlfriends of the English players, one of whom was sitting on the grinning entrepreneur's knee.
Critics have demanded that Mr Clarke, Mr Collier and even the 12-strong board should resign. Others called for the full details of the relationship between the ECB and Sir Allen to be made public. Yet tomorrow Mr Clarke is almost certain to be rubber-stamped as the ECB's chairman: he and Mr Collier deny acting improperly or imprudently.
It is worth remembering that, on the other side of the Atlantic, the residents of Mexia, who were once proud of Anna Nicole Smith, ended up being embarrassed by her antics. "Anna Nicole is not somebody we consider one of our own," said the Rev Marcus Sheffield, pastor of First Baptist Church.
Ms Smith had a sad death, apparently of an accidental drug overdose in a Florida hotel. If the accusations against Sir Allen stick, he may have an equally lonely death: behind bars and far away from the spotlight that Mexia's most famous son has always craved.
Additional reporting by Colin James in St John's.
THE FIRM
Stanford Financial was founded in 1932 by Sir Allen’s grandfather Lodis, a barber who spotted an opportunity in the insurance industry during the Great Depression. Allen Stanford joined the company in 1975, turning it from a Texas-only business into a multi-national. He later boasted that he could never be content as a “smalltown” businessman.
THE WHISTLEBLOWERS
Mark Tidwell and Charles Rawl, former employees who suspected that Sir Allen was falsifying the returns of about $8 billion in certificates of deposit.
THE VICTIMS
Investors in Sir Allen’s adopted home of Antigua queued to get money out of his bank after prime minister Baldwin Spencer warned of “catastrophic consequences”. Tens of thousands of other investors worldwide also face losing their money, mainly in Venezuela and Latin America.
THE FOOTBALLER
Newcastle United striker Michael Owen, who could lose out on hundreds of thousands of pounds after signing up as a global brand ambassador for Sir Allen’s companies last year. He is believed to have received about £500,000, having declared last year that: “Stanford is a company that has a solid track record in financial services and wealth management.”
THE CRICKETER
Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Among five West Indian cricketers who are part of the Stanford Superstars team, which beat England in Antigua last November. They are said to have invested their $1 million earnings back in Stanford’s firms.
THE CRICKETER’S WIFE
During October’s Twenty20 cricket tournament in Antigua, Emily Prior, wife of England wicketkeeper Matt Prior, is seen sitting on Sir Allen’s lap. He later apologises, but the incident highlights concerns about the England and Wales Cricket Board’s decision to sign a $20 million deal with him.
THE CO-ACCUSED
James M Davis, Stanford International Bank’s chief financial officer, and Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group. Both accused by US financial authorities of involvement in “massive, ongoing fraud”.
THE DRUG CONNECTION
Federal authorities have been investigating whether Stanford was inadvertently laundering money for a notorious Mexican drug-trafficking ring. In 1999, he voluntarily handed over to US officials more than $3 million in drug money which had found its way to his Antigua-based bank. It was believed to belong to the late Mexican drug baron Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who died in 1997. It is now claimed that Sir Allen’s life may be at risk from other drug gangsters, who fear he may turn informant.
THE KNIGHTHOOD
Three years ago, Sir Allen Stanford’s website announced that he had been made “Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation” after becoming a citizen of Antigua, claiming that the knighthood came courtesy of Prince Edward. It has since turned out that the honour was actually bestowed by the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda.
THE AUDITOR
Charlesworth Hewlett, founder of C A S Hewlett, Antiguan auditors, which signed off Sir Allen’s empire as being in good financial health. Died last month, having run his business from offices in Antigua, his home in north London and two rooms above a nearby hair salon.
THE FATHER
James Stanford still lives in the modest house in Mexia that has been the Stanford home since 1924. He says his son is “not flamboyant”, but describes him as “a Boss Hogg-type guy.
THE GOLFER
Vijay Singh has a lucrative sponsorship deal with Stanford and wears shirts bearing a company logo.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#10
This is why I no longer read fiction, as non-fiction is really even more out of the realm of normal life and what should be reality.....but isn't.
Reply


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