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Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 22:25 UK

US judge overturns Stanford bail

Sir Allen Stanford - file photo 11/06/2008
Sir Allen Stanford became famous as a high-profile sponsor of cricket

A US judge has ruled that Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford should remain in jail until his fraud trial.

The judge in Houston overturned a decision to allow him to leave prison on a $500,000 (£305,000) bail.

Prosecutors argued he was a flight risk, saying Sir Allen's network of wealthy friends and dual citizenship could enable him to leave the US.

The financier is facing trial over allegations he ran a $7bn (£4.2bn) scheme to swindle investors.

Mr Stanford's lawyers said they were disappointed with the decision and would appeal against the ruling.

Surrender

US District Judge David Hittner revoked the bail order granted last week, which would have seen Sir Allen freed before his trial.

Sir Allen remained in jail while the the government appealed against the earlier decision.

The judge said the case presented by government prosecutors convinced him Sir Allen could potentially make efforts to leave the US in advance of his trial.

"In total, the evidence proffered by the government is sufficient to weigh in favour of detention," he said.

Earlier, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in London froze $100m (£60m) of assets in London in connection with the case.

These funds were allegedly acquired in connection with Sir Allen's suspected fraud scheme, the SFO said.

The assets were frozen in April, but kept secret until after his arrest.

Sir Allen Stanford surrendered to FBI officers earlier this month and was taken into custody.

He appeared in court a week later where he pleaded not guilty to fraud, conspiracy and obstruction.

The 59-year old faces spending the rest of his life in jail if found guilty on all charges.

Cricket tycoon

Sir Allen and three former executives are accused of being involved in a scheme which persuaded investors to buy $7bn worth of certificates of deposit from Stanford International Bank, located in Antigua.

Prosecutors said they "promised returns that were too good to be true".

The unveiling of charges against Sir Allen capped a rapid fall from grace for a man who had shot to prominence in the UK and the Caribbean for his lavish sponsorship of cricket.

Sir Allen invested heavily in West Indies cricket over several years, sponsoring an inter-island Twenty20 competition and building his own cricket ground in Antigua, the island where his financial group, Stanford Financial Services, was based.

A long-standing friend of Antigua, where he was awarded citizenship and a knighthood, Sir Allen bankrolled a high-profile $20m cricket match between England and a Stanford All-Stars team on the island last year.

But his deals with English cricket began to unravel soon afterwards and were officially cancelled when the US levelled major fraud charges against him.



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SEE ALSO
Accounts frozen in Stanford probe
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US billionaire pleads not guilty
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Sir Allen Stanford arrested in US
19 Jun 09 |  Americas
Chief Stanford official charged
12 May 09 |  Americas
Stanford: 'Clients lost no money'
06 Apr 09 |  Business
Stanford indicted in US
19 Jun 09 |  Americas


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