U.S. charges Stanford Financial with "massive" fraud

Anna Driver and Simon Evans | Reuters | Feb 17, 2009

HOUSTON/ST JOHN'S, Antigua (Reuters) – U.S. authorities charged Texas billionaire Allen Stanford and three of his companies with "massive ongoing fraud" on Tuesday as federal agents swooped in on Stanford's U.S. headquarters.

The SEC said it was seeking to freeze the assets of the company and appoint a receiver "to take possession and control of defendants' assets for the protection of defendants' victims."

"Recently, as the market absorbed the news of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, SIB has attempted to calm its own investors by claiming the bank has no "direct or indirect" exposure to Madoff's scheme," the SEC said. "These assurances are false."

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