Cricket billionaire Stanford charged with 21 criminal offences in ‘Ponzi’ scam

June 20th, 2009 - 4:56 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 20 (ANI): US authorities have charged Texas billionaire businessman and alleged fraudster, Sir Allen Stanford, with 21 criminal offences.

The cricket entrepreneur has been charged with seven counts of wire fraud, ten counts of mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

Stanford appeared in a federal court in Richmond, Virginia, and was denied bail. He will now be transferred to Houston, Texas, for a detention hearing and to face criminal charges relating to an alleged fraud worth billions.

He had earlier handed himself in to the FBI in Fredericksburg, Virginia where he had been staying with his girlfriend, SKY News reported.

Announcing the charges, Kevin Perkins, assistant director at the FBI Criminal Investigative Division, said: “Economic crime schemes such as those alleged here today are unfortunately all too commonplace. These crimes strike at the heart of our economy and our quality of life.”

In a written statement, Stanford’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said his client was “confident that a fair jury would find him not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has previously charged Standford in a separate civil case.

The 59-year-old is accused of fraudulently selling eight billion dollars in certificates of deposit from his own Stanford International Bank based in his adopted home of Antigua.

Regulators in the US claim he and his firms lied to investors about their money being safe, when it was actually funding a so-called Ponzi scheme.

He made huge investments in sport and transformed cricket in the West Indies with his financial input.

Last summer, he invited England’s top cricketers to play in a lucrative game in Antigua, where the winning team members scooped one million dollar each.

But the England and Wales Cricket Board severed all connections with him after he was charged with the multi-billion-dollar fraud. (ANI)

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