Stanford, aides fail to appear for testimony-US

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Texas billionaire Allen  Stanford and two of his aides failed to answer subpoenas to  testify about what investigators are calling a “massive” fraud,  and the government said late yesterday that it could not  comment on Stanford’s whereabouts.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in court  documents yesterday that it had subpoenaed Stanford, his aide  James Davis and O.Y. Goswick, a board member of Antiguan-based  Stanford International Bank.

“None of these witnesses appeared for testimony or produced  a single document,” the SEC said in the court filing.

The SEC released a copy of the document after it charged  Stanford, three of his companies, and two aides with  fraudulently selling some $8 billion in high-yield certificates  of deposit (CDs). Federal agents raided the headquarters of  Stanford Financial Group in Houston, Texas, yesterday.

The Justice Department declined to comment on where  Stanford might be, and the SEC had no comment.

The SEC said it had sought a court order for Stanford and  his aides to surrender their passports and return any money  they control outside the United States.

“An order for repatriation of funds and records sent  offshore and still under the control of the defendants is  appropriate. There is evidence that funds and records have been  transferred overseas,” the SEC said.

“In addition, based on the defendants’ frequent foreign  travel, the fact that Stanford maintains vast holdings  (including residential real estate) in foreign locales, and  Stanford’s self-proclaimed dual residency, the commission seeks  an order requiring the defendants to surrender their passports  to the court.”

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