Stanford probed

The Baltimore Sun

The FBI is trying to identify "victims" of Stanford Financial Group and its affiliated companies as part of an investigation into an alleged $8 billion fraud.

The Houston office of the FBI asked investors yesterday to provide investigators with the amount of their losses and recent statements.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, two associates and three affiliated companies Feb. 17, accusing them of orchestrating an $8 billion fraud through the sale of high-yield certificates of deposit. The SEC called the alleged fraud a "massive Ponzi scheme."

A U.S. judge in Dallas froze Stanford's corporate and personal assets. Stanford has not been charged with any criminal activity.

The Baltimore affiliate of Stanford in Baltimore County was closed last month by a court-appointed receiver, according to the SEC.

In a statement filed March 2, Dallas lawyer Charles Meadows, who represents Stanford in the asset-freeze matter, said the SEC's allegations that Stanford engaged in a Ponzi scheme are false.

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