Indicted Billionaire Allen Stanford Owes in Gambling Debts

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Allen Stanford

Online gambling websites the world over breathed a sigh of relief upon learning that billionaire Allen Stanford's bank in Antigua had been shut down.  That's because none of them had any money there.

Antigua serves as one of the leading host nations for the multi-billion dollar online gambling industry and Stanford's bank obviously provided the convenience of operating in the same jurisdiction.

"(Allen) Stanford wouldn't deal with anyone associated with gambling businesses because he claimed to be a Southern Baptist," said one operator.

And so after Stanford's indictment earlier this year, while Antigua remained devastated, its online gambling sector felt little if any impact.

Stanford, knighted and considered a prominent financier who sponsored a professional cricket team, was charged with fraud last February.

"Federal agents raided the offices of Stanford Financial on February 17, 2009 and are presently "treating it as a kind of crime scene-cautioning people not to leave fingerprints."

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Allen Stanford with "massive ongoing fraud" centered on an eight-billion-dollar investment scheme.  Stanford's assets, along with those of his companies, were frozen and placed into receivership by a U.S. federal judge, who also ordered Stanford to surrender his passport.

Ironically, the Southern Baptist who purportedly would not deal with those in the business of online gambling citing "religious reasons" must have had some type of epiphany.  

The Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip sued Stanford in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas on Tuesday, claiming he owes $258,480 in unpaid gambling markers.

The luxury Bellagio resort, owned by hotel-casino company MGM Mirage, said in its lawsuit that Stanford signed for 14 gambling markers between Jan. 15 and Jan. 22.

Such markers are recognized in Nevada law as credit instruments evidencing a gambling debt.
The suit seeks payment of the $258,480 plus interest at the rate of 18 percent per year and attorney's fees.

The Bellagio markers have already caught the eye of the SEC, which in February froze Stanford's assets.

Christopher Costigan, Publisher 

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