STANFORD, a dishonest Sir and Sir
There is a particularly prominent Antiguan who holds a British knighthood which entitles him to be called “Sir” and also holds an Antiguan knighthood which (like the Barbadian knighthood) also entitles him to be called “Sir”. Some Antiguans, most I hope in joke, refer to him as “Sir Sir”.
R. Allen Stanford (RAS) only had the Antiguan knighthood which gave him the right to use the “Sir” before his name, an honour which he shares with Vivian Richards and other native Antiguans including McClean Emmanuel, who is best known as Lord Short Shirt of “Tourist Leggo” fame.
Stanford, whose Board of Legends included Sir Vivian Richards, had to ditch the group when it became clear that Sir Viv had to take second place to Sir Vive, an issue which was clearly looming and which has now clearly overtaken him with the FBI and SEC on his heels.
What was incredible, and ironic, is that a man whose personal fortune was listed in Fortune as being over US$2billion, who owned six private jets and once owned an airline, was unable to charter a jet for a one-way flight out of Houston to Antigua because the charter company refused to accept his credit card.
The company demanded a wire transfer or bank draft and never heard from Stanford again, most likely because his assets in the US were frozen.
Accustomed as I am to catching my assets, the closest I ever came to a frozen asset was when I lived in Ottawa and the temperature went to 30 below without the wind chill factor.
Now Revelations have taken over the entire Stanford bible. According to the New York Times, the genesis of the problem was that Stanford, like Bernard Madoff (pronounced Made-off) “offered investment opportunities that sounded almost too good to be true: promises of lucrative returns on relatively safe certificates of deposit that were often more than twice the going rate offered by mainstream banks.”
The worst revelation of all is that some of the Stanford Super Stars, including Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and three other players may have lost their money. A story on the website “cricketnext” claims that West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul is among some players who fear they have lost some or all of their Stanford millions: “According to The Sun, Chanderpaul is thought to have been persuaded to re-invest his prize money with Sir Allen Stanford companies and is now concerned he may never see it again. Each of his Stanford Superstars team was paid $1 million for beating England in the ‘Twenty20 for 20’ match in Antigua last November.
The players thought they were making prudent investments but it turns out the sensible option might have been to splash the cash on fast cars or flash watches.” If this is true, it is enough reason for the Caribbean governments to follow the example of Venezuela’s Chavez and seize Stanford’s assets so that all those people from the region, including our cricketers, get their money back.
And if Stanford comes to Antigua or goes to St Kitt’s looking for sanctuary, the government should not just grab his assets but beat them until they are black, blue and blistered.
*Tony Deyal was last seen saying that Stanford is not just a “Sir” he is a dishonest Sir and Sir.