As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

America's Next Top Ponzi Schemer

This Sir Allen Stanford is a piece of work. Self-congratulatory, thinks he's related to Leland Stanford when he's not, knighted by the island of Antigua, and now, under arrest:

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday charged R. Allen Stanford, a prominent Texas businessman, and three companies under his control with carrying out a "massive, ongoing fraud" involving the sale of $8 billion in certificates of deposit.

The case is one of the largest alleged financial frauds in U.S. history and comes just two months after the SEC accused New York financier Bernard L. Madoff of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme of up to $50 billion.

Stanford and two colleagues, operating through a web of firms based in Houston and the Caribbean, lied to customers about how their money was being invested and how the firms' investment portfolios had performed in the past, the SEC said in a civil complaint filed in federal court in Dallas.

We knew that Bernie Madoff was but the beginning of this. You find out about fraud in the markets when they go down, not when they go up.

Stanford's a weird guy (just go to TPM Muckraker and keep scrolling. But he also hedged his bets on the fraud by cozying up to politicians of both parties and lavishing them with contributions. I don't know what's sicker - that a criminal thinks he can get away with his crimes through access to power or that it's so likely to work.

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