[JURIST] A judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas [official website] on Thursday indefinitely froze the assets [order, PDF] of financier Allen Stanford [professional profile] at the instance of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website]. Stanford was charged [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] last month with orchestrating a fraudulent $8 billion investment scheme by selling certificates of deposits on the promise of improbably high interest rates. Judge David Godbey also issued an order [PDF text] releasing most customer brokerage accounts over $250,000 that had been frozen since February [Stanford receiver backgrounder].
Stanford, through his investment companies Stanford International Bank (SIB), Stanford Group Company (SGC) and Stanford Capital Management (SCM) [corporate websites] is accused of violating the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940 [materials]. Last month, US District Judge Reed O'Connor issued a temporary restraining order [PDF text] to freeze Stanford's assets, as customers rushed to withdraw their investments from SIB branches in Antigua and Venezuela.