R. Allen Stanford ‘a Bit Different From the Average Chap’


Robert Allen Stanford, the mustachioed CEO of Caribbean-based Stanford Financial, has been missing ever since he was accused by the SEC of running an $8 billion fraud this Tuesday. He could be anywhere by now, considering the head start he got — Business Week reported charges against him were imminent a good four days before the SEC laid out its report — but in his absence, news outlets have provided us with so much information about Stanford, we feel like we practically know the guy.

Here is what we learned today:

• Regulators have been receiving complaints about Stanford since as far back as 2001, but never cracked down because of "a lack of coordination among federal agencies" and the "difficulty" of dealing with Antigua. You know how it is down there: You go down there on a job, and the next thing you know you've got a frozen bevvie in your hand and are congo-ing to a steel-drum-band version of "Kokomo." [WSJ]

• Nancy Pelosi hugged him this one time.[HuffPo]

• In addition to being a schemer, he is also a bad son: Stanford's father,who's also his company's chairman emeritus, has not heard from his son all week. "I tried one time at a number we had and it’s a cell number, but we couldn’t get through to him," he told the Houston Chronicle. "I’m worried for his safety. You know, he’s my son." [Houston Chronicle]

• Promotional materials for the bank "evoked the image of Allen Stanford’s grandfather, Lodis B. Stanford, the founder of a small insurance company during the Great Depression, and said the younger Stanford’s group of companies rose out of those beginnings. U.S. court records show that Stanford International, which Allen Stanford founded first, was formed in 1985 on the Caribbean island of Montserrat and moved to Antigua in 1990." [Bloomberg]

• The Post claims IMG had a "quid pro quo" deal with Stanford, and encouraged some of their high-profile-athlete clients — like Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and Sergio Garcia — to invest money with him. (IMG denies this.) [NYP]

• Horrible irony: In Venezuela, Stanford's company "attracted a growing market of middle-class savers. These savers, the experts and investors say, were fearful that President Hugo Chávez's policies were leading the country toward economic ruin." [WSJ]

• Though he was a huge sponsor of cricket tournaments, Stanford's brash Texas mannerisms and the way he played the game did not sit well with traditional U.K. fans. This past summer, he showed up to a London tournament in a helicopter "carrying a huge case filled with what looked like millions of U.S. dollars," then groped and canoodled more than one of the other players' wives. "I thought he was a bit colorful for cricket," the executive chairman of the Cricket Foundation told the Journal. "I said to my English colleagues that these Texan chaps are a bit different from the average person in Tunbridge Wells, Kent." [WSJ]