Stanford Financial Group raided over alleged $8 billion fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission this morning raided Texas based Stanford Financial Group over an alleged $8 billion fraud.

The SEC accuses founder and CEO of Stanford Financial Robert Allen Stanford, CFO James M. Davis, and Chief Investment Officer Laura Pendergest-Holt with misrepresenting the safety and liquidity of uninsured certificates of deposits (CDs).

Stanford Financial, and its subsidiaries sold $8 billion of CDs to investors by “promising improbable and unsubstantiated high interest rates,” the SEC said in a statement.

Further, the SEC alleges that Stanford falsely claimed that the deposits were safe, that more than 20 analysts monitor the investments, and that yearly audits were being conducted.

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U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor entered a temporary restraining order on the accused, froze the defendants assets, and appointed a receiver to manage those assets.

Other allegations include Stanford claiming to investors that the company had no exposure to Bernie Madoff scam, when the company did, and further that Stanford Capital Management (another Stanford subsidiary) inflated the performance of its $1.2 billion-asset Stanford Allocation Strategy mutual fund in promoting it to prospective investors.

The alleged fraud if proven would be one of the largest frauds by a money manager in US history.