Geez, I don't know who's worse -- Mr. Drysdale, or Mr. Mooney? Or maybe it's our own Miami Center's R. Allen Stanford:
Finally -- a nice solid bank fraud that is not centered in New York. Take that, Bernie!
At the heart of the investigation are CDs issued by Stanford International Bank, which claims to have 30,000 clients in 131 countries. The CDs paid ''improbable and unsubstantiated high interest rates,'' ranging from 11.4 percent to 16.5 percent between 1993 and 2005, and were sold by a web of brokers who collected hefty commissions for touting them, federal regulators alleged. Stanford claimed to invest the CD proceeds to buy safe, liquid assets, but instead invested in real estate and private equity, according to the SEC.
''The Miami operation was an important focal point for international investors, especially from Latin America'' said Bowman Brown, a Miami attorney, who has several clients who bought CDs from the loosely regulated Antiguan bank. ``The consequences, particularly in Venezuela and also in Colombia and other Caribbean jurisdictions, will be significant.''
Stanford's Miami office, which occupies three floors at the Miami Center at 201 S. Biscayne Blvd., has 138 employees, down from about 500 in 2006. Operations include a private client group, corporate affairs and investment banking, Brian Bertsch, a Stanford spokesman, said last week. The company transferred its Latin American operations, which were formerly part of the Miami office, to Mexico City about two months ago, he said. On Tuesday, Bertsch referred requests for comment to the SEC.
Stanford, a U.S. citizen who became a citizen of Antigua & Barbuda 10 years ago, has other Miami ties. He bought the sprawling bayfront Tyecliffe Castle, formally the Wackenhut estate, in Gables Estates in 2003 for $10.5 million.
See you all in the SD FL......