Stanford won't testify to SEC

The Associated Press
DALLAS – Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford joined one of his top officials in asserting their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the federal government’s fraud case against them and Stanford’s companies, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Stanford said he will “decline to testify, provide an accounting or produce any documents” related to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil case, which accuses him of running a “massive Ponzi scheme.”
Finance chief James M. Davis of Baldwyn also asserted his right not to incriminate himself.
The documents were filed Wednesday in federal district court in Dallas, a day before a hearing in which the SEC is expected to make a case for an injunction allowing a court-appointed receiver continued control over the assets of Stanford, Davis and Stanford Investment Group companies.
Stanford’s signed statement was dated Monday. Davis’ statement was signed Feb. 21.
The SEC filing also includes a series of e-mails from the general counsel of Stanford Investment Group to R. Allen Stanford, sent in the weeks before the SEC filed its civil complaint. The company’s chief attorney, Mauricio Alvarado, sent a resignation letter saying he was “incredibly surprised and disappointed” after learning financial information about the company that was “in direct conflict to what I had been represented and led to believe during my entire tenure with the company.”
The SEC has accused Stanford and his top officers of an $8 billion fraud related to certificates of deposits and other investments at the Stanford International Bank in Antigua. An attorney for Stanford has denied the allegations made in civil court.
The only criminal charges that have been filed in the case are against Laura Pendergest-Holt, the firm’s chief investment officer, who is accused of obstructing the investigation. An attorney for Pendergest-Holt filed a motion Tuesday requesting that the receiver’s control over her assets be rescinded.
The documents filed by the SEC on Wednesday include the transcript of a Feb. 24 deposition given by Stanford’s 81-year-old father, James, who lives in Mexia, and is listed as a Stanford International Bank board member. When asked by an SEC lawyer about how the bank operated and the source of his son’s wealth, the elder Stanford repeatedly declined to answer.
In an interview with The Associated Press last month, James Stanford said his son should “do the right thing.”


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