Article: "Stanford charges spark run on banks"
Excerpt(s): The criminal investigation into the business empire of the cricket tycoon Sir Allen Stanford sowed panic in the Caribbean and Latin America yesterday as governments and investors scrambled to uncover the extent of the alleged $8bn fraud. The prime minister of Antigua warned of "catastrophe" for the nation, depositors rushed to withdraw funds in bank branches around the region, and authorities in Colombia, Panama, Peru and Venezuela began their own investigations into the Texas billionaire's financial dealings... On Tuesday the US securities and exchange commission accused Stanford of fraudulently selling $8bn (£5.6bn) in high-yield certificates of deposit. It sought to freeze assets and appoint a receiver. But the tycoon himself was nowhere to be found and US marshals were reportedly unable to serve him with court orders. Sources at the SEC confirmed they were searching for the billionaire, who has not been seen in public since news of alleged fraud broke. Stanford International Bank has 30,000 clients in 131 countries, as well as advisers in 30 US offices. Antigua, a sleepy island with a population of 70,000, forming half of a Caribbean nation with Barbuda, risks being the worst hit. It was here that Stanford set up his headquarters in a 30,000 sq ft Georgian-style hilltop building...
Link to Full Story (and video): http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/feb/18/allen-stanford-banks-caribbean