(CMR) The former CEO of Antigua and Barbuda's Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the $7 billion Ponzi scheme involving Stanford International Bank. He accepted bribes “to look the other way” according to The Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Standford Ponzi scheme was the second-largest in U.S. history, second only to that of Bernie Madoff that came several months after.
In January, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that Leroy King pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of obstruction of justice. The charges against King stem from his role in obstructing an investigation into Stanford International Bank and related companies by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He was originally charged in June 2009 along with two accountants.
King (74) is the last defendant to be sentenced in this matter after being extradited to the United States in November 2019 where he made his first court appearance. Five others are servicing jail sentences from 3 to 20 years.
Around 2005 the SEC started investigating R. Allen Standford and Stanford Financial Group (SFG). In his regulatory capacity, King refused to assist the SEC claiming that he “had no authority to act in the manner requested.” In the SEC press release in 2009 they shared:
“The SEC also charged Leroy King, the administrator and chief executive officer of Antigua's Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), for accepting thousands of dollars per month in bribes to ignore the Stanford Ponzi scheme and supply Stanford himself with confidential information about the SEC's investigation. King obstructed the SEC's case since 2005, when its investigation into Stanford began.”
Many in the Caribbean would have heard of Stanford's cricket tournament – the Standford Twenty20 Cup. Once news of his fraud broke cricketing authorities around the world broke ties with him.
The SEC's complaint alleges that King facilitated the Ponzi scheme by ensuring that the FSRC conducted sham audits and examinations of SIB's books and records.
They noted that King also provided Stanford with access to the FSRC's confidential regulatory files on him, including the SEC's requests for information from FSRC in its investigation. King went so far as to allow Stanford to essentially dictate the FSRC's responses to the SEC on those information requests.
A federal jury found Standford guilty in June 2012 for his part in a 20-year investment fraud scheme where he misappropriated $7 billion from SIB to finance his own personal businesses. He is currently serving a 110-year prison sentence.
In exchange for his roles in the scam, he received super bowl tickets, cash payments totaling over half a million dollars and numerous trip's on Standford's private jet.
King is a citizen of the U.S. as well as Antigua and Barbuda, West Indies. He maintains residences in both Atlanta and Antigua.