Stanford tries to surrender to federal authorities

May 1, 2009 6:32:15 AM PDT
R. Allen Stanford, accused by federal regulators in a civil complaint of running an $8 billion investment fraud, tried to turn himself in to federal marshals in Houston on Thursday, but they didn't take him into custody because no warrant has been issued for him. The Houston Chronicle reported in its online edition that Stanford and his lawyer marched the few blocks from attorney Dick DeGuerin's office to the federal courthouse to "surrender."

"We're doing this to show he's not running," DeGuerin said. "He'll face whatever they've got for him."

Stanford, his company insignia eagle pin on his lapel, stood nearby as DeGuerin told a woman at the U.S. Marshal's office that they wanted to "surrender him into custody," the newspaper reported.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Stanford of running a Ponzi scheme.

Stanford's companies, based in Houston, were shut down and placed in receivership in February when the SEC filed a civil fraud suit in court in Dallas. The SEC alleges investors in certificates of deposits were paid with proceeds obtained from new investors.

Stanford has denied the allegations and said if there was fraud, he wasn't involved in it.

"I'm going to fight this thing with everything in me," Stanford said. He said he also wanted to battle speculation that he would flee if he were charged with a crime.

Stanford, who has lived mainly in the Caribbean the past few years, said he had moved into an apartment in Houston.

DeGuerin said they took Thursday's steps because he wanted to make it clear that Stanford is available to authorities.

He said he wanted to avoid a "perp walk," in which an accused person is placed in handcuffs and escorted before the media.

"A perp walk will be adverse to his right to a fair trial," said DeGuerin.

Justice Department attorney Paul Pelletier declined comment, the newspaper reported.

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