FBI agents are investigating Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, owned by Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford.
The bank has come under scrutiny because it offers CD’s with returns at twice the rate of ‘conventional’ banks. Former employees have also witnessed ”unethical and illegal practices”, reports the times of London.
Mark Tidwell and Charles Rawl alledge that the bank gave clients false indications of investment performance and destroyed documents during a previous investigation by the SEC.
Although it acknowledges an investigation by the SEC is underway, the bank declined to comment on reports of FBI and IRS investigations started months ago.
Stanford International Bank has an impressive track record, and currently has $8.6 Billion under management. It has succeeded in attracting at least 30,000 depositors in recent years, the majority Latin American.
The Flamboyant Financier
This is not the first time financier Allen Stanford has courted controversy. The billionaire Texan was also famous for financing the twenty20 cricket tournament between England and the West Indies that promised a prize of $20 million, announcing his arrival in the UK by landing at Lord’s cricket ground in a golden helicopter. During a promotional photo-shoot the divorced father of six caused outrage by posing with one of the England player’s wives on his lap.
The Queen’s office in Buckingham palace recently asked him to change a page on his website which said that he had been knighted by the Earl of Wessex, when it was in fact the Antiguan government which had conferred the honor.