Oh for a Stanley Sporkin. Now a retired federal judge, the former head of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission was legendary for his tenacity in finding suspects who'd fled the country to escape prosecution. About the only prominent figure to escape Sporkin was Robert Vesco, who wound up dying under house arrest in Cuba.
Surely the SEC, back in Sporkin's day, wouldn't have lost track of a fish as big as R. Allen Stanford, the head of Houston and Antigua-based Stanford Financial, which has set off bank runs overseas amid allegations it's nothing but a Ponzi scheme.
It's hard to get lost in America. Oh it may be easy enough for a Ted Kaczynski to vanish for a while, living as a hermit, but billionaires leave big footprints, and leave cell phones, trophy wives, email accounts, and money trails in their wake. Billionaires generally aren't willing to live in walled compounds in the failed state wilds of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
At the very least, Stanford leaves more than a few anxious senators behind, pining for his return.
Stanford's business is headquartered on the Caribbean island of Antigua. In the last decade, Stanford and his companies have spent more than $7 million on lobbyists and campaign contributions in efforts to loosen regulation of offshore banks.
Among the top recipients: Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), one of the members who took a trip to Antigua where he was entertained by Stanford.
Sen Cornyn's office has said the trip "was strictly a fact-finding trip," and at the time, "there was nothing untoward or unseemly" about Stanford Financial.
A fact-finding trip? In Antigua?