Found! Accused Scammer Stanford Turns in Passport in Washington

SEC moving to seize billionaire's planes, yachts, bank accounts and homes.

ByABC News
February 19, 2009, 4:36 PM

February 19, 2009— -- The billionaire banker accused of scamming $8 billion, R. Allen Stanford, was located by FBI officials today and served with civil papers by the SEC, putting an end to a nationwide search.

Stanford later turned in his passport to federal prosecutors, saying "he would not flee," according to one of Stanford's lobbyists, Ben Barnes.

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Stanford was located in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area, the FBI said in a statement. The papers he was served with were the SEC's complaint, the memorandum of law filed with the complaint, the court order freezing his asset, and the court order appointing a receiver, according to a SEC statement.

Stanford is "very depressed," according to Barnes and sought to end a federal manhunt for him by directly approaching officials at the Justice Department, Barnes said.

Earlier this week, the SEC accused Stanford of defrauding 50,000 customers around the world by lying about the return rate on certificates of deposits offered by his firm, Stanford Financial.

U.S. Marshals seized his company and its assets, under an emergency federal court order sought by the SEC

Federal authorities tell ABC News that in addition to the SEC complaint, Stanford is under investigation in connection with an alleged drug money laundering scheme for Mexico's Gulf Cartel.

In the meantime, the SEC has begun to seize an array of private property owned by Stanford and his firm.

Stanford's fleet of six private jets were recalled to the corporate hangar at Sugarland Airport outside Houston, including the Bombardier-700 luxury jet that was used exclusively by Stanford and considered the "Flagship of the Stanford Empire," according to aviation websites.

According to flight records, the Stanford jet flew into Washington, D.C. earlier this week and returned to Houston yesterday afternoon. Flight crews said Stanford was not seen on the plane when it unloaded.