Ex-DEA agent indicted in $7B Ponzi scheme

Sept. 11, 2009 at 12:03 PM
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MIAMI, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A federal grand jury indicted a former federal drug agent in Miami for his alleged role in disgraced banker Allen Stanford's financial scandal.

The indictment handed up Thursday claims Tom Raffanello, who left the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration five years ago to become Stanford's local security chief, ordered the shredding of records belonging to Stanford, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

Prosecutors say records -- including secret background reports on employees and potential investors -- were hauled away from a company location in Fort Lauderdale after a federal judge ordered no more paperwork be destroyed.

The 61-year-old Raffanello said he was prepared to turn himself in to federal agents on charges of conspiracy, obstruction and destruction of records in a federal investigation.

"No one is sorrier than me that it came to this -- after spending 32 1/2 years working for the government," he told the Herald Thursday. "But I'm prepared to fight this. I still believe in the system."

Prosecutors say Stanford and his top aides carried out a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, diverting most of the money to failed business ventures and supporting Stanford's opulent lifestyle.

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