In 2002 and 2003, Stanford and his wife Susan ran up enormous tax debts, according to an IRS lien filed in a Texas court last July. There is no record indicating the lien, for $104,204,406.06, has been withdrawn. Stanford and his wife have been separated for years and are undergoing divorce proceedings.
In that same period, campaign finance records show Stanford personally gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to party committees and politicians, mostly Democrats, including:
$560,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
$100,200 to the National Republican Congressional Committee
$10,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
$4,000 to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
$3,000 to Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
$2,000 to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
$1,000 to now-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Last year, a month after the lien was filed, top Democrats were thanking Stanford at their convention in Denver for his firm's $150,000 contribution to sponsor a forum for a Democratic nonprofit. The organization said at the time it "had no reason to believe that a very public company that was also engaged in philanthropic work might be suspect."
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and every other party group did not respond to inquiries for this story.
A Dodd spokesperson told ABC News the senator was donating all Stanford-linked donations to charity. In a statement, Shelby's office said it had returned all donations from Stanford, his company and employees to the Stanford Financial Group receiver, the legal entity responsible for distributing Stanford's assets. Sen. Reid's office said he intended to shed all funds from Stanford, his company and employees. Sen. Schumer did not respond to a request for comment.
Stanford Accused of Swindling $8 Billion
Back taxes are just one of Stanford's many problems, of course. The SEC has accused Stanford, who owns a network of banks and investment firms, of bilking an estimated $8 billion from tens of thousands of clients. Sources say he is also the subject of a federal criminal investigation into money laundering by drug cartels.
In recent days federal agents have seized boats, planes and other property belonging to Stanford; he surrendered his passport and is believed to be living with the parents of his 30-year-old fiancée.
Stanford's lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, did not respond to a request for comment.
In a complaint filed days ago, the SEC says Stanford defrauded 50,000 customers to the tune of $8 billion, by lying about the return rate on certificates of deposits offered by his firm, Stanford Financial. U.S. authorities have siezed private jets, real estate, a boat and more belonging to Stanford.
Annie Allen contributed to this report.