Stanford investigation sparks fears in Antigua

MSNBC – On the streets of Antigua, Texas billionaire Allen Stanford is a controversial figure. Some embrace him while others deride him as a modern-day colonialist.

But nearly all say they fear a U.S. investigation into the tycoon’s financial empire and Antigua-based offshore bank could damage the Caribbean island where Stanford is a household name, its biggest private employer and powerful business force.

"He’s providing jobs. He’s good for the economy. If he’s in trouble, that’s bad for us all," said George Green, manager of Cool Down Cafe, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on a narrow street in St. John, the island’s capital.

Green’s comment was echoed across the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda on Monday as news spread of a deepening probe into Stanford’s $50 billion Houston-based investment operation, Stanford Group Co, and its Antigua-based affiliate, Stanford International Bank.

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