Texas billionaire Allen Stanford was taken into custody Thursday night on a fraud-related charge in Stafford, Virginia, the FBI said.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent M.A. Myers would not provide further details on Stanford’s arrest, but his attorney, Dick DeGuerin, told CNN that Stanford had surrendered to agents. Stanford, accused of a $9.2 billion fraud by U.S. regulators, denied all wrongdoing in a tearful interview in April during which he threatened to punch his questioner in the mouth. “I would die and go to hell if it’s a Ponzi scheme,” Stanford, who was ranked at No. 205 in Forbes magazine’s list of 400 richest Americans with assets of more than $2 billion, told ABC News. The assets of Stanford and his financial groups, based in Antigua and the Caribbean, are frozen while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigates allegations he ran “a massive Ponzi scheme,” a pyramid scheme in which new investors’ money is stolen to pay profits to existing clients. During his ABC interview, Stanford complained that he had to fly commercial airlines after the federal government confiscated his six private jets. “They make you take your shoes off and everything,” he said. “It’s terrible.” Stanford threatened to punch the interviewer when he was questioned about reported links to alleged money laundering for a Mexican drug cartel, charges he vehemently denied with the threat before backing down.