“My Baloney has a first name, it’s A-L-L-E-N”…
Native Texan R. Allen Stanford told ABC News that fraud allegations against him and his Stanford Financial Group companies are âbaloney,â? according to a report aired Monday.
In what the network said was Stanfordâs first media interview since the Securities and Exchange Commission filed the civil fraud complaint, Stanford also denied the SECâs allegation that he and codefendants operated a Ponzi scheme â in which early investors are paid with money from later ones.
âI would die and go to hell if itâs a Ponzi scheme,â? Stanford said in what appeared to be an unplanned run-in with the television crew. âItâs not a Ponzi scheme. If it was a Ponzi scheme, why are they finding billions and billions of dollars all over the place?â?
In February the SEC filed a civil suit against Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, Antigua-based Stanford International Bank and three top executives including Stanford, alleging an $8 billion fraud. Accounts and assets tied to the brokerage, bank and individuals were frozen by court order throughout the U.S. and overseas.
The separate court-appointed receivers for the Stanford companies in the U.S. and Antigua have said there appears to be less than $1 billion in assets tied to the bank based on the property and bank accounts theyâve recovered so far.
Stanford, who so far only faces a civil complaint, also told the network that he expects to be indicted within the next two weeks, but intends to challenge the allegations. âIâm going to fight this with everything in me,â? he said.
âHe lost his temperâ
Dick DeGuerin, a Houston criminal defense lawyer Stanford hopes to hire, said he has not seen the ABC interview, which he said occurred at a Houston hotel last week.
âIt was a chance encounter, and he lost his temper. He felt bad about that and trying to make up for it, he went on and on,â? DeGuerin said.
He said heâs not as sure as Stanford that an indictment is imminent.
âIt could go quickly, but if they really examine what happened, there will be no indictment,â? DeGuerin said.
DeGuerin said Stanford was emotional in the ABC interview, in which he sometimes was tearful, because of his anger over whatâs happened to the business he built up for 20 years.
âThe SEC caused a run on his banks, they caused banks to be nationalized in other countries,â? DeGuerin said. âThe SEC has done more damage to the Stanford companies than the stock market crash did.â?
In other action in the case Monday, a London court granted the SEC an extended freeze on U.K.-based assets tied to Stanford Financial Group, including more than $100 million in equities and cash.
A freeze order
The High Court in London signed an order freezing the assets through April 27, which according to court documents include about $105 million in assets held in Credit Suisse accounts and another $5 million in accounts at HSBC.
Court-appointed receivers have been searching all over the world for assets tied to the Stanford bank in Antigua. A lawyer representing Stanford Chief Financial Officer James Davis, who also was named in the SEC suit, says his client has been helping the SEC and the Department of Justice in their dealings with European banks.
âWe are hopeful that additional assets, particularly with a Swiss flavor, will be located to help compensate the investors,â? attorney David Finn said.
According to court papers, Credit Suisse has Stanford accounts with about $97.5ââmillion in hedge fund investments, $1 million in cash, $5.4 million in Swiss franc shares and other assets.
The HSBC accounts contained another $5 million in euros, English pounds, Swiss francs and U.S. dollars.
Credit Suisse had instructions to liquidate the entire London portfolio in early February, just before the SEC filed its case, according to court papers, and on Feb. 12 received an order to wire $17 million to Stanford International Bank accounts in Houston.
According to the court documents, the bank didnât carry out the orders.