Now's Your Chance To Own A Very Tacky Piece Of Allen Stanford's Ponzi Empire

You've got to give Allen Stanford credit for thinking big -- instead of sinking his $8 billion Ponzi scheme profits into the usual uber-rich guy stuff, he bought himself the entire Caribbean nation of Antigua, sponsored giant cricket tourneys (despite being from Texas) and gave his mistress a moat-surrounded Coral Gables castle.

Now's your chance to own a piece of his tacky, bizarre empire. Tomorrow, the feds are auctioning off everything from marbled Stanford coffee mugs to a massive desk Stanford claimed was owned by a king and worth $3 million alone.

Stanford's awaiting trial in Houston on charges that his massive investment empire, which was headquartered in downtown Miami and Texas, was the largest Ponzi ever engineered by someone not named Bernie Madoff. 

In the meantime, the feds are selling everything that's not bolted down to pay back some burned investors and to cover legal costs. They've already found $188 million, mostly in real estate and big ticket items like Stanford's private jets.

Now, everything must go! The only catch is, you'll have to truck out to Houston to bid on the Stanford knick knacks in person if you want a piece of Ponzi history.

Here's the best stuff on sale, according to the Houston Chronicle:

  • A Baccarat crystal eagle (the symbol which every Stanford employee had to wear on their lapels, North Korea style), worth around $55,000
  • 1,150 bottles of wine and liquor worth nearly $70,000 (take that, Madoff!)
  • An arsenal of weapons, including 30 unused Glocks purchased by Stanford for a personal army he never got around to assembling
  • A fine china set for 50, plus 10 Hickory leather chairs for your guests to sit in
  • Stanford's lunch-table sized desk. (Not actually owned by a king, but still 200 years old and worth around $10,000)

In all, the feds hope to pick up around $250,000. 

Stanford, for his part, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His trial has been delayed by his shaky mental state and a righteous beating he got in a prison fight.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink