R. Allen Stanford is an institution in Antigua—so much so that some residents call the Caribbean island “Stanford Land”—and now the country is reeling from the SEC fraud case against him. The country has seized Stanford’s bank, but it’s still facing questions about its cozy relationship with the billionaire. When the government created a new regulatory authority, for example, it tapped Sir Allen to run it.
That authority was created to try to clean up Antigua’s dodgy reputation, even though US regulators had expressed unease about Stanford’s sway on the island and its operations. In 1999, he gave the Drug Enforcement Agency $3.1 million after discovering that an ex-Mexican drug lord had laundered money there, and the Treasury put Antigua on its money-laundering watch list.