Well, the Securities and Exchange Commission has gone ahead and accused Robert Allen Stanford, the CEO of Stanford Financial Group and fun, flamboyant possessor of fancy commodes, of running a "massive, ongoing fraud." Stanford Financial as a group asserts that it advises $51 billion in assets, but the scheme seems to have been centered on an $8 billion certificate-of-deposit program through one of its subsidiaries, Stanford International Bank, which is based in Antigua and run by a Texan with prior experience "in cattle ranching and car sales" per a statement from the SEC.
The org breaks it down like this:
SIB has sold approximately $8 billion of so-called "certificates of deposit" to investors by promising improbable and unsubstantiated high interest rates. These rates were supposedly earned through SIB's unique investment strategy, which purportedly allowed the bank to achieve double-digit returns on its investments for the past 15 years.
"We are alleging a fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its tentacles throughout the world," Rose Romero, the director of the SEC's Fort Worth office, told the Journal. Hmmm. We know the SEC is trying to look on top of things right now and therefore we should offer them some positive reinforcement (Nice catch guys!), but here at the Daily Intel Independent Frauditing Office, Colloquial Division, it's our opinion that they're overstating things a little. Sure, back in November we might have rated an $8 billion fraud "Massive," or "Shocking" but compared to Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponz, we're downgrading it to "Ginormous" and "To Be Expected in These Times."
U.S. Accuses Texas Financial Firm of ‘Massive’ Fraud [NYT]
SEC Statement on R. Allen Stanford Charges [WSJ]