Page last updated at 03:57 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 04:57 UK

Sir Allen Stanford arrested in US

Sir Allen Stanford - file photo 11/06/2008
Sir Allen, 58, denies any wrongdoing

Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford has surrendered to the US authorities after a warrant was issued for his arrest on criminal charges.

The 58-year-old already faces civil charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over an alleged fraud worth $8bn (£6bn).

Sir Allen turned himself in to the FBI in Virginia and is expected to appear in a Richmond federal court on Friday.

It was not immediately clear what criminal charges Sir Allen faces.

Dick DeGuerin, Sir Allen's lawyer, told The Associated Press he had surrendered "to some FBI agents who were hiding out in black SUVs outside the residence where he was staying in Virginia".

"He walked out and asked if they had a warrant," Mr DeGuerin said.

If it was a Ponzi scheme, why are they finding billions and billions of dollars all over the place?
Sir Allen Stanford

He said Stanford told the agents to arrest him if they had a warrant, but if they did not have a warrant, he would go back to Houston to turn himself in.

In February, the SEC, the US financial watchdog, described the alleged fraud at Stanford Financial group as a "fraud of shocking magnitude".

The cricket impresario is accused by the SEC of luring investors with promises of improbable and unsubstantiated high returns on certificates of deposit and other investments - what is known as a Ponzi scheme.

The billionaire financer has refused to talk to US regulators investigating his alleged fraud, and court documents show that Sir Allen pleaded the Fifth Amendment - the right to withhold potentially self-incriminating evidence.

In an interview with ABC earlier this year he insisted no money was lost by customers dealing with his financial services companies.

"If it was a Ponzi scheme, why are they finding billions and billions of dollars all over the place?" he said at the time.

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