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Billionaire Stanford silent in fraud case

Billionaire Stanford silent in fraud case

Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford and one of his top officials have asserted their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the federal government's fraud case against them and Stanford's companies, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Stanford said he will "decline to testify, provide an accounting or produce any documents" related to the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil case, which accuses him of running a "massive Ponzi scheme."
Finance chief James M. Davis, using similar language, also asserted his right not to incriminate himself.
The documents were filed Wednesday in federal district court in Dallas, a day before a hearing in which the SEC is expected to make a case for an injunction allowing a court-appointed receiver continued control over the assets of Stanford, Davis and Stanford Investment Group companies.
Stanford's signed statement was dated Monday; Davis' statement was signed Feb. 21, two days before he was scheduled to give a videotaped deposition in the case.
The SEC has accused Stanford and his top officers of an $8 billion fraud related to certificates of deposits and other investments at the Stanford International Bank in Antigua. An attorney for Stanford has denied the allegations made in civil court.
The only criminal charges filed in the case thus far have been against Laura Pendergest-Holt, the firm's chief investment officer, who is accused of obstructing the investigation. An attorney for Pendergest-Holt filed a motion Tuesday requesting that the receiver's control over her assets be rescinded.