Mar 30, 2009

Q-n-A # 22: Mr. Obama, Rumor has it, you are buddies with scam artist, Robert Allen Stanford

I see you slamming GM, Ford, Chrysler, AIG, Bank America, and Citigroup but no mention of Bernie Madoff or this guy.
I am wondering why?

In case you don't know who this guy is, here's the story....
Being a Texas billionaire who loved cricket should've raised some red flags immediately. Now Robert Allen Stanford may be charged as the newest scam artist on the financial block...once the Securities and Exchange Commission finds him.
Not that Searchers haven't been looking for the money manager themselves. Queries for "allen stanford" (also known and misspelled online as "robert allen stanford," "r allen stanford," "sir alan stanford," and the like) popped up into the top 5,000 searches after a "caravan" of feds drove up February 17 and took over the headquarters of his financial services company, the Stanford Group, under charges of old-fashioned fraud.
Sir Stanford, however, wasn't there to hand over the keys and to face charges, although his cohorts were. His whereabouts were unknown. One report says he tried to hire a private jet to fly to his Caribbean home but ignominiously failed due to a rejected credit card. It appears only wire transfers are acceptable from sweaty-palmed financiers.
The Stanford Group (which has more than 50 offices spread across six continents), ratcheted triple the searches of its founder. Stanford, however, may only be a pip-squeak version of Bernie Madoff: Despite allegedly perpetuating an $8 billion fraud (Madoff's damage is an estimated $50 billion), there's no evidence of a Ponzi scheme here, according to The Business Insider.
The fraud involved telling customers that the CDs they were buying came from investments in "easily sellable financial instruments, monitored by more than 20 analysts and audited by regulators on the Caribbean island of Antigua." Instead, Stanford and chief financial officer otherwise known as the accomplice James Davis allegedly handled the whole thing, hid 90 percent from oversight, and funneled a chunk into not-so-easy-to-sell assets like real estate and private equity investments.
Still, the why of Stanford's alleged fraud demands an explanation, and people have been seeking clues into the fifth-generation Texan's background ("r allen stanford biography"). His Sir title came courtesy of Antigua although its prime minister once called him "haughty, arrogant and obnoxious." The West Indies island is also where he based his Stanford International Bank and flamboyantly funded the Stanford Superstars cricket team, which beat mighty England in November and won $20 million. Unfortunately, the chance to recoup any losses through cricket is nil for now: The Wall Street Journal reported that the English Cricket Board "suspended negotiations with Mr. Stanford about further matches."
Also, as might be expected from someone who had $2.2 billion to his name, Stanford donated to political campaigns, and Republican senators are now moving fast to shuffle contributions to charity. (They might want to consider St. Jude Hospital, which Stanford had supported.)
The Baylor University graduate also once claimed kinship to Leland Stanford, the founder of the private California university, but the school sued in October to stop that nonsense. That lawsuit will probably have to move a little further down on the financier's docket.

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