SEC targets Stanford’s London auditor for info

The SEC’s ‘several’ attempts to get information out of Stanford International
Bank’s auditors in relation to an alleged $8bn fraud have been unsuccessful.

Allen Stanford, the cricket-loving billionaire owner of SIB has been charged
by the SEC with perpetrating the massive fraud, linked to high-interest
investments known as Certificates of Deposit.

The US markets watchdog declined to comment about whether it was trying to
track down Celia Hewlett, the head of CAS Hewlett, whose whereabouts is
currently unknown.

The SEC said in a statement: ‘SIB told investors that their deposits were
safe because the Antiguan regulator responsible for oversight of the bank’s
investment portfolio, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (the ‘FSRC’),
audited its financial statements.

‘But, contrary to the bank’s representations to investors, the FSRC does not
audit or verify the assets SIB claims in its financial statements. Instead,
SIB’s accountant, CAS Hewlett & Co, a small local accounting firm in Antigua
is responsible for auditing the multi-billion dollar SIB’s investment portfolio.

‘The commission attempted several times to contact [CAS] Hewlett by
telephone. No one ever answered the phone.’

Related reading