Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Stanford missing after fraud claim

Two days after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Sir Allen Stanford of perpetrating "a fraud of shocking magnitude," he remains missing.

Authorities were trying to track down Texas billionaire financier Sir Allen Stanford today as fraud charges against the cricket promoter prompted panicked investors to withdraw cash from his banks. Two days after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Sir Allen, 58, of perpetrating "a fraud of shocking magnitude," SEC officials were still in the dark about his whereabouts - as too were close members of his family.

Authorities in the Caribbean island of Antigua and in parts of South America meanwhile sought to quell fears among depositors as long queues formed outside branches of his bank. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle newspaper, Sir Allen's 81-year-old father James said that he had no idea of his whereabouts. "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," he said.

"I cannot imagine, I cannot believe, I will not believe what is being alleged actually happened." James Stanford said he understood that authorities were trying to track down his son, but insisted he didn't know where he was. "I cannot believe that my son would run," he added. Investors were meanwhile growing fearful about the status of their investments in Sir Allen's offshore bank and his Houston-based brokerage.

"We're just sick about it. It's visceral," Sandra Walsh, a retired school librarian in Houston, said. Ms Walsh said she and her husband kept their life savings in an account at Stanford Financial Group. A substantial portion of Sir Allen's clients are in South America, where the Venezuelan government issued a request for more information from US authorities. In Ecuador, transactions at the Stanford Financial Group were temporarily suspended yesterday.

In Antigua, hundreds of people queued yesterday at the Stanford-owned Bank of Antigua to withdraw funds. The SEC filed civil charges on Tuesday against Sir Allen for what they called fraud "of shocking magnitude" in selling US$9.2bn in securities, "promising ... improbable high interest rates". A US district judge consequently froze Sir Allen's assets. Sir Allen's alleged scheme is the most high profile since Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff was charged in a $50billion Ponzi scheme in December.

* AFP

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National