The Rogues’ Gallery of the increasingly tarnished modern Gilded Age is getting crowded. The Securities and Exchange Commission today accused Robert Allen Stanford, CEO of the Stanford Financial Group, of running a “massive ongoing fraud.” The SEC said the bank division of the group could not account for $8 billion it was supposed to have on deposit in Antigua. Mr. Stanford apparently could not be reached to offer any clarification. In fact, he seems unreachable altogether. Federal officials have placed the Stanford Financial Group in receivership. Investing clients are already lining up claiming losses.
Sir Allen, as he prefers to be called as a result of his knighthood from that island nation, boasted to investors in December of 2008 that his funds were never invested in Bernie Madaoff’s alleged Ponzi operation. We got a hint why today. The SEC thinks he had his own scheme going. He didn’t need anybody else’s.