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.
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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).
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.