Dienstag, 21. Dezember 2010

WikiLeaks reveals US worries over Allen Stanford

December 21, 2010
US diplomats were worried about Allen Stanford's business dealings three years before his financial empire collapsed, according to WikiLeaks.

The Guardian, which has been publishing details of the cables, said the US embassy in Barbados raised the issue in a cable dated May 3, 2006 after the ambassador attended a breakfast meeting with Stanford and Barbados' prime minister.

The disclosure potentially raises fresh questions about the wisdom of the England and Wales Cricket Board to sign a deal in 2008 with the financier for England to play five Twenty20 matches against the West Indies for a £12 million prize.

In February 2009, Stanford was charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission with multiple violations of US securities laws in an alleged "massive" 8bn-dollar fraud.

The 2006 embassy cable noted: "Allen Stanford is a controversial Texan billionaire who has made significant investments in offshore finance, aviation, and property development in Antigua and throughout the region. His companies are rumoured to engage in bribery, money-laundering and political manipulation."

A comment appended to the cable added: "Embassy officers do not reach out to Stanford because of the allegations of bribery and money-laundering. The ambassador managed to stay out of any one-on-one photos with Stanford during the breakfast."

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has criticised leaking of details of the sex assault charges he faces in Sweden - which were also published in The Guardian, saying it was intended to undermine his application for bail while he faced extradition proceedings.

He said: "The leak was clearly designed to undermine my bail application. Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison."
Source: http://sivg.org/article/wikileaks_stanford.html

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Dienstag, 14. Dezember 2010

Allen Stanford: Brokers face charges

Allen Stanford arrested December 14, 2010
By Alex Hawkes

US authorities have told several brokers that they intend to file civil charges against them over the alleged $8bn Ponzi scheme at Allen Stanford's banking group.

US regulators have widened their investigation into the alleged fraud at Allen Stanford's banking group, and are now looking at brokers who worked with the bank as well as the bank's top executives.
Allen Stanford has been held in custody since his arrest in June 2009 Photograph: David J. Phillip/AP
The Financial Times reported this morning that the Securities and Exchange Commission had notified several brokers, as well as the head of Stanford International Bank's brokerage operations, that it intends to file civil fraud charges against them.
Investigators allege that Stanford's banking operation was in fact an $8bn (£5bn) Ponzi scheme - an investment in which returns to investors are funded either through their own payments or through those of subsequent investors rather than any genuine investment returns.

The FT said that Danny Bogar, head of SIB's brokerage operations, had been notified of the SEC's move by means of a Wells notice, a process used to alert individuals that they might face civil charges. Bogar's lawyer said his client knew nothing about the alleged fraud.

Patrick Cruickshank, a broker who worked in Stanford's office in Austin, Texas from 2006 to 2009, also received a Wells notice, the paper said, citing US regulatory filings. His lawyer said Cruickshank had "done nothing wrong" and "was a victim of the Stanford fraud".

Until now only Stanford, four senior executives at the bank and an Antiguan regulator had been charged in connection with the scheme.

Stanford, who has been held in custody since his arrest in June 2009, denies the allegations. His trial is due to begin in January, although defence lawyers argued last week that the businessman was too heavily medicated to prepare for the proceedings.

Former chief financial officer James Davis has pleaded guilty and is co-operating with the probe. Others accused have denied wrongdoing.

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