Allen Stanford Was ‘US Government Informer’
May 11, 2009 1 Comment
A (BBC) Panorama investigation has suggested that Sir Allen was shielded from an earlier inquiry into his activities because he co-operated with a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) attempt to track money laundering by Latin American drug cartels.
US officials closed down his banking activities in February, alleging a vast fraud centred on his Antigua-based offshore bank. Sir Allen, 59, previously most famous as the sponsor of the Twenty20 cricket tournament, has vowed to clear his name.
No criminal charges have yet been filed but the US Securities and Exchange Commission described his activities as a “massive Ponzi scheme”.
A former law enforcement official said in February that the FBI and other agencies started looking into Sir Allen’s possible involvement in money-laundering in the 1990s but could not find sufficient evidence to charge him.
Panorama claimed some US officials were aware of Sir Allen’s cartel links as long ago as 1990. It reported that Sir Allen, paid a $3.1 million (£2.05 million) cheque to the DEA in 1999 after that sum was invested in his bank by another Mexican drug gang, the Juarez cartel of Amada Carillo Fuentes.
According to Panorama, whose investigation will air on Monday, Sir Allen was initially investigated by the SEC over suspicions he was running a Ponzi scheme in the summer of 2006, but the inquiry was over by the winter of that year.
The BBC claims the decision to close the investigation followed a request by another government agency.
Panorama says it is aware of “strong evidence” that Sir Allen was a “confidential agent” for the DEA as far back as 1999 and turned over details of money laundering by clients from Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador.
Rodney Gallagher, a British financial investigator, who knew Sir Allen in the 1980s said it was clear to him that the Texan had “a very close relationship with the DEA” and occasionally hired former agency staff to work for him.
The DEA declined to comment to the BBC on its allegations. Sir Allen, who was knighted by the government of Antigua and Barbuda, has insisted that getting involved with the Mexican cartels is “something absolutely foreign to everything in my body”.
Sir Allen denies any wrongdoing.