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Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Harris’

Through Obscure Non-Profit, Stanford Wooed Lawmakers

By now, we’ve all seen those pictures of Allen Stanford hobnobbing with lawmakers in Antigua. But, with the exception of one trip by Sen. John Cornyn, it wasn’t Stanford himself who picked up the tab for these jaunts — it was an obscure outfit called the Inter-American Economic Council.

And taking a closer look at the IAEC, and its ties to Stanford, sheds some light on how the Texas billionaire gained access to all those members of Congress — and what he hoped to gain by doing so.

The IAEC’s website says that the Washington-based group was founded in 1999 and that it aims to “provide senior Government Officials, leading Business Executives, and Academic Professionals the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about current and future economic strategies in the Hemisphere.” And in 2003, the Associated Press reported (via Nexis) that, according to IAEC president Barry Featherman, the organization “relies mostly on contributions from U.S. corporations.”

But the group appears to have remarkably close ties to Stanford himself. In this 2006 report, Bloomberg described Stanford as a “principal backer” of the organization. And Stanford Financial told Bloomberg that it had “donated the use of its aircraft” to the IAEC for one 2006 trip to Jamaica that four Democratic lawmakers went on.

That same year, the IAEC gave Stanford its “Excellence in Leadership” award. A press release put out by the group (since removed from its website) declared that Stanford “has strongly supported the work that the IAEC is doing in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Stanford also appears to have taken advantage of IAEC-funded events by showing up personally to schmooze lawmakers. We already posted these shots of current or former lawmakers including Katherine Harris, Pete Sessions, Tom Feeney, James Clyburn, and John Sweeney chilling with Stanford and Caribbean dignitaries in Antigua in 2005.

But there’s also another set of interesting shots from the previous year, showing Stanford breaking bread with, and addressing, lawmakers — including former GOP congressman Bob Ney (since jailed for taking bribes from Jack Abramoff) — at an IAEC-sponsored event in Washington.

(You can see the slideshow of photographs from that event here.)

What was Stanford talking to lawmakers about? An IAEC press release from (via Nexis) from the event gives a hint. It says that in his speech, Stanford “addressed the need to streamline regulatory regimes that make it difficult for investors to take advantage of all of the opportunities that exist in the region.”

MORE HERE

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Lawmakers’ Caribbean Junket With Allen Stanford: The Pictures That Reveal All

We’ve put together a slideshow of that 2005 junket that a group of lawmakers — including Katherine Harris, Tom Feeney, John Sweeney, James Clyburn, and Pete Sessions, went on to Antigua, paid for by an organization with close ties to Stanford.

Our favorite is the one of Harris and Sir Allen gazing into each other’s eyes.

Check it out (PHOTOS)

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Allen Stanford Owes Over $200 Million In Federal Taxes

DANIEL WAGNER | February 18, 2009 07:00 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Public records show disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford owes hundreds of millions of dollars in federal taxes.

The records show four federal tax liens against Stanford totaling more than $212 million. The liens are from 2007 and 2008.

Federal officials charge Stanford with bilking investors out of billions of dollars by claiming unrealistic returns. His bank is closed following a raid Tuesday.

Stanford is known for an extravagant lifestyle, including private jets, friendships with congressmen and big spending on sport sponsorships and charity.

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