By Patsy Brumfield / NEMS Daily Journal
Financier R. Allen Stanford was suspected of irregular dealing, long before he was accused in a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme, WikiLeaks cables report.
WikiLeaks is the international cyber organization at the center of massive diplomatic and military leaks during 2010.
As reported Monday by The Guardian, a United Kingdom publication, the cables show that U.S. diplomats were told to avoid contact with Stanford or being photographed with him at least two years before his 2009 fall from grace.
Stanford, four executives with Stanford Financial Group, and a Antiguan bank regulator, were indicted in 2009. He is set to go on trial in Texas in January, although federal court observers there speculate that it won't begin then after numerous attorney changes and other court drama surrounding Stanford.
Embassy staff concerns are revealed in a cable dated May 3, 2006, detailing the first meeting between Stanford and the U.S. ambassador at a breakfast meeting in Barbados which was also attended by the Barbados prime minister and cricket legends signed up by Stanford to push his idea for a series of Twenty20 competitions.
Emphasizing the chance nature of the encounter, the cable notes: "Allen Stanford is a controversial Texan billionaire who has made significant investments in offshore finance, aviation, and property development in Antigua and throughout the region. His companies are rumoured to engage in bribery, money-laundering and political manipulation."
According to the cable, Stanford outlined his ambitious property development plans for the region and talked about his investment in a new airline.