AP source: Indicted billionaire R. Allen Stanford en route to Texas on fraud charges

AP source: Indicted billionaire headed to Texas

WASHINGTON — Billionaire R. Allen Stanford was expected back in Texas on Tuesday to face federal charges he ran a $7 billion swindle with his international banking empire.

A federal grand jury in Houston has indicted Stanford and six executives of Stanford Financial Group, accusing them of orchestrating the massive fraud by advising clients to buy certificates of deposit from the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank. Stanford was arrested Thursday in Virginia.

A law enforcement official said Monday that Stanford was en route to Texas. He was being taken by U.S. Marshals to Houston, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because discussing the transfer was not authorized. The official said the trip would consist of two separate flights and Stanford was expected to arrive in Houston sometime Tuesday morning.

The indictment charges that Stanford’s banking empire was really just a massive Ponzi scheme. It alleges Stanford and the other Stanford Financial Group executives falsely claimed to have grown $1.2 billion in assets in 2001 to roughly $8.5 billion by the end of 2008.

All seven are charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Stanford also is charged with conspiring to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission proceeding.

Investigators say that even as Stanford claimed healthy returns for roughly 30,000 investors, he was secretly diverting more than $1.6 billion in personal loans to himself.

Dick DeGuerin, Stanford’s lawyer, said in a written statement Friday that Stanford was “confident that a fair jury will find him not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing.”

Stanford could face as much as 250 years in prison if convicted on all charges in the 21-count indictment, officials said.

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