Texas financier Stanford stripped of knighthood

By Calvin Palmer

Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, awaiting trial on fraud charges, has lost the knighthood bestowed on him by Antigua and Barbuda.

The National Honors Committee voted unanimously to revoke Stanford’s title for embarrassing the nation by running an alleged Ponzi scheme out of his Antigua-based offshore bank, chairwoman Jacqui Quinn-Leandro said.

Stanford is in jail pending his trial for allegedly defrauding some 28,000 investors out of $7 billion by selling them what U.S. authorities say were bogus certificates of deposits.

Stanford received his knighthood in 2006 from the governor general — the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in the country — and was widely known as “Sir Allen” in the Caribbean nation.

A group of investors has filed a lawsuit against Antigua and Barbuda alleging that local authorities failed to adequately monitor Stanford International Bank Ltd and profited from the fraud.

The financier provided loans to the government and became the country’s largest private employer, with businesses that included a development company, cricket stadium, newspaper, an airline and two restaurants.

Quinn-Leandro said the six-member honors committee, made up of senators and members of Parliament, voted last month and formally informed Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of its decision on October 26.

It now remains for Spencer to forward the decision to the governor general for a signature, which is considered a formality.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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