Texas financier accused of fraud owes IRS $104 million, too

Texas billionaire financier R. Allen Stanford was in a heap of hot water with federal authorities even before the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges Feb. 17 accusing him of running an $8 billion ''massive ongoing fraud'' at his financial empire.

According to Miami-Dade Circuit Court records, the Internal Revenue Service filed a federal tax lien for $104,236,285.85 against Stanford and his estranged wife, Susan Stanford. The couple are in divorce proceedings in Texas.

The IRS lien, filed Aug. 21, 2008, in Miami, covers tax years 2002 through 2004, the court records said. The Stanfords are challenging IRS assessments in U.S. Tax Court related to federal income taxes for other years, and have fought tax bills at least as far back as 1996, according to tax court records.

An IRS spokesman in Fort Lauderdale, citing agency policy, declined to comment on the tax lien, which gives the government a legal claim to real estate and other property.

Larry Campagna, a Houston attorney representing Stanford in the tax case, said the IRS tax case is still pending but declined to comment further. Besides fancy homes in Antigua, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Houston, Stanford owns property at 20 Casuarina Concourse in Gables Estates. The larger-than-life Texan, who has gone by the title ''Sir Allen'' since being knighted by the tiny island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in 2006, bought the sprawling bayfront Wackenhut estate in 2003 for $10.5 million and tore it down. It is now a vacant lot.

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