Stanford indicted for alleged Ponzi scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) - Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford has been indicted for what prosecutors say is a $7 billion scheme to defraud investors.

Justice Department officials are to announce the charges against Stanford and four others at a news conference in Washington Friday. Stanford ran the Stanford Financial Group, a sprawling banking empire that collapsed earlier this year.

Also indicted were three executives of the company, and a former Antiguan bank regulator. The Securities and Exchange Commission has already filed court papers charging Stanford and his top executives orchestrated an $8 billion fraud by advising clients to buy certificates of deposit from the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.

Stanford, who is in FBI custody after surrendering Thursday, was to appear in federal court in Richmond, Va. later Friday. He has denied the charges.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)