There are quite a few South Florida connections to the ongoing "mini-Madoff" scandal surrounding Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, who faces civil charges from the SEC that he orchestrated a "massive, ongoing fraud" to the tune of $8 billion through his Stanford International Bank.
Stanford operated a large office in downtown Miami, where brokers pushed the suspiciously overperforming investments to wealthy Latin American buyers, the government charges.
And when Stanford turned into a major political donor -- coincidentally around the same time Congress was trying to pass a bill that would crack down on money laundering in Antigua, where Stanford's bank was housed -- our own Sen. Bill Nelson was the biggest recipient, with $45,900 on the books. (Nelson has promised to give all Stanford funds to charity).
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But the funniest link, at least for us easily amused bloggers at Riptide, is the apparently Stanford-funded congressional junket to Antigua in 2005 that included a grinning, Stanford-loving Katherine Harris. Check out this slide show at Talking Points Memo for proof, and be thankful we don't have Harris to kick around anymore.