Texan Accused of Fraud Pleads Fifth Amendment

A federal judge has ruled Thursday to freeze the assets of R. Allen Stanford, the billionaire accused of operating Texas' very own alleged Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Judge David Godbey agreed to release most brokerage accounts that are more than $250,000. The accounts had been frozen since U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Stanford of fraud involving certificates of deposit in the amount of $8 million.

The frozen accounts are those related to the CDs either issued by an offshore bank in Antigua owned by Stanford or those controlled by defendants or some employees.

On Wednesday, Stanford pled the Fifth Amendment, according to court documents. Neither he nor his chief financial officer, James M. Davis, has been accused of any crime, but both have been sued by the SEC.

The news comes on the same day that Bernard Madoff, infamous for his $65 billion investment fraud, pled guilty to 11 felony charges in a federal court in New York.

Holly Lafon has written and worked for local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.

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