Antiguan Official Linked To Stanford

** FILE ** In this Wednesday, June 11, 2008 file photo, Sir R. Allen Stanford waves at Lords Cricket Ground in London. Federal regulators on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009 charged Stanford and three of his companies with a "massive fraud" that centered around high-interest-rate CDs. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File) AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Antigua's former chief financial regulator surrendered Thursday to face U.S. charges that he aided an alleged $7 billion swindle by Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, according to a government official.

Leroy King, who will now face extradition proceedings, was taken into custody by island authorities, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the case.

Prosecutors said that as administrator of Antigua and Barbuda's Financial Services Regulatory Commission, King should have caught the fraud. He is accused of accepting more than $100,000 in bribes to turn a blind eye to irregularities.

Stanford pleaded not guilty Thursday in a Houston court. He was indicted last week on U.S. charges that his banking empire was really a Ponzi scheme built on lies and bribery.

The billionaire and several executives are accused of orchestrating a massive fraud by misusing most of the $7 billion they advised clients to invest in certificates of deposit from the Stanford International Bank, based on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

King faces charges including wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to obstruct an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

He was fired by the twin-island's government on Tuesday, and Attorney General Justin Simon said that an official request from the United States is pending for his extradition.

Stanford's Antigua enterprises also include a newspaper, two restaurants, a development company and the Stanford cricket grounds, where he shook up professional cricket last year by bankrolling the purse in a $20 million winner-take-all match.
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