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Texan billionaire Stanford missing after frau -

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Reporter: Barbara Miller

ELEANOR HALL: There are red faces in English cricket today as the US billionaire Allen Stanford who
had poured money into the game was charged with a multi-billion dollar fraud.

The England and Wales Cricket Board and West Indies Cricket Board have announced they're suspending
all negotiations with Allen Stanford, who US authorities accuse of perpetrating a fraud of
'shocking magnitude'.

The Texan billionaire has been missing since the charges were announced.

Barbara Miller compiled this report:

NEWSREADER (excerpt from news broadcast): Word of a new fraud to rival Madoff...

BARBARA MILLER: Once again investors are facing the bitter truth that if it sounds too good to be
true it probably is.

VOX POP: It's amazing. There is no honourable investment firm left.

BARBARA MILLER: The man at the centre of this latest scandal is the Texan billionaire Allen
Stanford. He made his fortune initially in real estate before becoming chairman of the Stanford
Financial Group, which says it manages more than US$50-billion in assets, from clients across the
globe.

That was until yesterday, when the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Allen Stanford
with perpetrating what it described as a 'massive fraud' based on false promises and fabricated
historical return data.

It's bad news for investors and for parts of the cricketing world. Allen Stanford was pouring money
into the game in the West Indies and in England. Last year he sponsored a controversial Twenty20
game which saw a West Indian all-star team beating an English team, to win a million dollars each
in prize money.

COMMENTATOR: Well, $20,000 is a lot of money but $20-million is even more. It's a cheque for
$20-million to the Stanford Superstars. What a night!

BARBARA MILLER: Further matches were planned between the Stanford Superstars and England, as well
as a quadrangular series, all to be bankrolled by Allen Stanford.

The chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board Giles Clarke says that's now changed.

GILES CLARKE: We and the West Indies Cricket Board have discussed the situation today. We have
jointly agreed to suspend all negotiations.

BARBARA MILLER: Allen Stanford's involvement in cricket was by many viewed with suspicion from the
outset. But ABC cricket commentator Jim Maxwell says it's not hard to understand why the West
Indies accepted his money.

JIM MAXWELL: It's always seen to be a dodgy area there, that relationship that the West Indies
Cricket Board had with this Texan billionaire. It always looked like a house of cards and maybe it
is.

But at the time he was throwing a lot of money at the West Indies and they needed it because they
are in debt. There was a lack of leadership, of accountability in their own game and all of a
sudden the fairy godmother has turned up and given them a swag of money.

So if nothing else it's probably helped keep some interest in the game of cricket in the West
Indies when it could well have been in terminal decline.

BARBARA MILLER: The West Indies and England are now left looking for new sponsors and with a
considerable amount of egg on their face. There have been calls for the chairman of England's
cricket board to step down from those who always viewed Allen Stanford with some distaste.

This after all was the man who flew into Lord's in what was described as a gold-plated helicopter
with a case full of $20-million in cash.

Neil Davidson is the chairman of Leicestershire County Cricket.

NEIL DAVIDSON: I think he should do the decent thing and resign. This has been a tacky episode for
English cricket. We devalued and demeaned our cricket here with helicopters landing at Lord's,
millions of dollars showcased and then ultimately players bouncing on Allen Stanford's knee, and
this is England's cricket team.

BARBARA MILLER: Hundreds of people have queued outside banks affiliated to the Stanford group in
Antigua and Venezuela to try and withdraw money. The billionaire's father James Stanford says his
son won't run away.

JAMES STANFORD: He'll give it a good battle. He is a fighter, I can tell you that.

BARBARA MILLER: Today though Allen Stanford is nowhere to be seen. US investigators admit they have
no idea of his current whereabouts.

ELEANOR HALL: Barbara Miller reporting.