Stanford Found in Virginia and Served Papers

By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 20, 2009

FBI agents yesterday found R. Allen Stanford, the suspected mastermind of a $9.2 billion financial fraud, in Fredericksburg, Va., and served him with court papers, the authorities said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Stanford, his three companies and two associates with fraud Tuesday after determining that he was allegedly misleading customers in the sale of certificates of deposit and other financial products.

Federal agents raided his office buildings in Houston, a judge froze his assets and a receiver was put in charge of his companies. But Stanford, a billionaire who spends much of the year in Antigua, where the bank at the center of the alleged fraud is based, could not be found.

The lawyer representing him in the SEC investigation had weeks earlier ended his association with Stanford and disavowed any earlier statements.

The investigation into Stanford has focused on what the SEC has called "impossible" returns on his investment portfolio, generating questions about whether he was running a Ponzi scheme.

The SEC has worked with criminal authorities on the case, but no criminal charges have yet been filed against Stanford. The SEC often files civil charges before criminal charges are filed.

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