January 11, 2011
While R. Allen Stanford was happily ensconced on the Caribbean island of Antigua, allegedly bribing officials there as he expanded his banking empire, secret cables released by the whistleblowing web site WikiLeaks revealed that U.S. Embassy officials held themselves at arm’s length even as they provided the accused fraudster with political cover.
As Antifascist Calling reported last summer, Stanford International Bank (SIB) and Stanford Financial Group (SFG), once conservatively valued at $50 billion, were no more legitimate than penny stock frauds or advance fee scams on the internet. To make matters worse, for years federal regulators turned a blind eye towards the bank’s reckless practices.
As it turns out, so too did the U.S. Embassy.
Cablegate file 06BRIDGETOWN755, “Cricket Breakfast Serves Up First Encounter with Allen Stanford,” dated 03 May 2006, revealed that “Ambassador Kramer met controversial Texan billionaire Allen Stanford for the first time at an April 21 ‘Legends of Cricket’ breakfast in Barbados.”
The confidential embassy cable reported that “Stanford bent the Ambassador’s ear concerning his significant new tourism and property investments in Antigua and plans for his Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun airlines.”