Robert Stanford talks to Eyewitness News

April 20, 2009 11:13:24 PM PDT
Claiming he has no money and expecting an indictment soon, R. Allen Stanford says he's looking forward to getting back to work. [MORE VIDEO: Watch more of Jessica Willey's interview with Robert Stanford]

The Houston billionaire, whose name likely angers former employees and investors who lost everything, spent the day talking about a new perspective he sees. Stanford says he has been wanting to answer questions for weeks, but his attorneys have advised against it.

With all of his credit cards cancelled and only a couple of suits to his name, Stanford says he is still dedicated to his employees. He admitted he is stressed but has tried to stay strong for his fiancée and six children. He is also ready to restore his reputation.

"This was such an unbelievable shock," Stanford told Eyewitness News. "I can see 25 years of my life and others who worked with me taken away in a matter of a couple of days."

Robert Allen Stanford says he didn't see it coming. He didn't know the government was about to raid his Houston offices in February. Nor did he expect a judge to freeze his assets leaving him cashless. He didn't think it would all come tumbling down.

"I'm a fighter, this thing has knocked me down pretty hard in the fact the only thing I can equate it to is a death, a family death," Stanford admitted.

Still bearing the Stanford Eagle, the financier sat down with us for the first time since the government charged him in civil court with defrauding investors out of $8 billion. Investigators say he lured them to buy CDs with the promise of unusually high returns. The complaint calls the alleged fraud a Ponzi scheme.

"I wasn't running a Ponzi scheme, we were not defrauding people, what we did is run a straight up solid business," Stanford told us.

Stanford says all of his 42 companies were solid until the SEC stepped in.

"The SEC came in, in a far-reaching action and basically disemboweled an ongoing, viable entity in North America worth at least $1.2 billion," he said.

And that he says created a domino effect internationally which scared governments into nationalizing his banks. He blames the SEC and says as chairman he was mostly Stanford's public face, and unlike the two other officers who also face civil charges, he says he didn't know a lot about the day to day investment details.

"For me to know, not even a macro much less a micro way, what was going on would have been impossible," Stanford said. "I rely on people internally to watch those numbers, audit and other things, reports thereof, my job is to get out there and do the rah-rah stuff."

Stanford expects a criminal indictment soon and will plead not guilty. If indicted he is going to plead not guilty.

"I'm going to fight this thing with everything in me and I'm going to win," Stanford declared.

Since voluntarily surrendering his passports, Stanford says his primary residence is here in Houston. He plans to open an office in the next couple of weeks staffed with former Stanford employees to fight any charges. He has also asked a judge to release $10 million of his seized assets so he can pay for his legal team.

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