Okay, this Robert Allen Stanford story has officially moved into territory that is so weird we kind of want to just shut off the TV and declare ourselves finished with the whole series, like we did with Heroes. But we can’t, because even now we still need to know what happens.
To recap: Earlier this week, after much pomp and circumstance, the SEC accused the flamboyant Texan financier of massive fraud, after which he reportedly went missing (and didn’t even call his father). Ties to drug cartels were alleged, stories of laddish behavior were exhumed, flight plans to offshore locations were scrutinized, and charts were put together comparing him to Bernie Madoff. Then the Feds were like, “Oh this guy wasn’t actually missing, he was just in Virginia and not returning our calls, and we’re not arresting him because no one’s done the figures proving he’s fully a criminal yet. So.”
And now it’s come out that in the past, Stanford talked about owning an island. A very special island in an “undisclosed” location where he was working on a secret project. An island that very few people have ever seen.
Really, this is what’s happening.
See, last year, Stanford told Forbes he was working with seventeen architectural and engineering firms on a massive resort called the Island Club. It would have 30 mansions on it, he said, and the largest private aviation complex in the world, with parking for 100 private jets and a marina with dock space for 30 yachts. Members would pay a $50 million deposit to get in, along with a $15 million annual membership fee. He planned to have it constructed by 2011. Where was it? An “undisclosed island in the Caribbean,” the magazine said.
Now the Times is doubting the island even exists. “With hindsight, of course, there is reason to doubt some of Mr. Stanford’s claims,” they say today.
But there is other evidence that Mr. Stanford has an island all his own. Court documents from early 2008 obtained by Bloomberg News, relating to a paternity dispute involving Mr. Stanford, cited his substantial real estate holdings, including an island in the Caribbean, which was not identified.
We must find this island! It’s the key to the whole mystery! All we need is a giant pendulum….
Allen Stanford’s Mystery Island [Dealbook/NYT]
Crazy for Cricket [Forbes]
Lost: Jack Don’t Know Jack [Vulture]