Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire and cricket enthusiast accused of an $8bn fraud, said that he expected to be indicted by US authorities in the next two weeks, The Times reports.
In an interview with ABC News, details of which were released last night, the financier also denied running a Ponzi scheme. "I would die and go to hell if it's a Ponzi scheme," said Mr Stanford, who cried during the interview, according to the television network.
"Baloney. Baloney. It's not a Ponzi scheme. If it was a Ponzi scheme, why are they finding billions and billions of dollars all over the place?" he added.
Mr Stanford, a flamboyant cricket fan who spent millions of dollars sponsoring the sport, is accused of running a Ponzi scheme, whereby he paid existing investors' returns with money from new clients using high-yield certificates of deposit issued by his bank in Antigua.
Yesterday, a UK court froze more than $100 million (£67 million) of assets belonging to Stanford International Bank (SIB), the Antigua-based financial group controlled by Mr Stanford, at the request of the US Government. Full story...
THE HEDGE FUND MANAGER J Ezra Merkin, a pillar of New York society, was accused of fraud yesterday for allegedly funnelling investors' money to Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street swindler, The Times writes.
New York State alleged that Mr Merkin, president of the wealthy Fifth Avenue synagogue founded by his father, had failed to tell his well-known clients - including Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor - that he was placing their money with Madoff.
The state's complaint alleged that Mr Merkin had channelled about $2.4 billion (£1.63 billion) to Madoff, while collecting $470million in fees and performance bonuses. Full story...
THE STILL FRAGILE STATE of the economy is highlighted today by the British Chambers of Commerce, which predicts unemployment will soar to 3.2 million next year - levels not seen since the 1980s, The Independent reports.
The BCC's latest survey of business sentiment among member firms through the UK will remind ministers in the final stages of preparing the Budget due on 22 April that "the recession is still very serious, and is likely to continue for some time".
In the light of recent remarks by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, and a report yesterday by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the poor state of the public finances, the scope for an additional boost to the economy from public spending appears very limited.
However, the BCC warns: "The UK economy is still facing very serious threats, and there is a clear need for corrective action." The BCC said it is seeking "targeted measures" from Alistair Darling.
In contrast to recent evidence from the Bank of England's Credit Conditions Survey and a similar exercise by the CBI, the BCC says the credit crunch shows no signs of abating: "Businesses have been struggling with cash flow problems for some time now.
"Not only has prompt payment of invoices developed into a greater issue, but the lack of access to finance has added to the squeeze," it said. Full story...
THE CURIOUS CASE OF the £11m ruby sitting on the books of a bankrupt building firm is about to be solved, The Guardian writes.
Ernst & Young, administrator to Shropshire-based Wrekin Construction, has hired an independent valuer to establish the worth of the gem and expects to have an answer by the end of the week.
The mysterious ruby, called variously the Star of Zanzibar and the Gem of Tanzania, was used to strengthen the balance sheet of the construction company, turning net liabilities in March 2007 to £6m net assets by the end of that year.
Wrekin paid for the jewel by issuing £11m of preference shares to a company called Tamar Group, owned by David Unwin, who had recently bought Wrekin.
The gem might have stayed out of sight were it not for the recession. The business ran out of money last month, the company was put into administration and its assets lined up to be sold off. The company's collapse meant the loss of 600 jobs.
Initially, doubts were cast over the existence of the ruby. But a large gem, roughly the size of a cricket ball, was handed over to Ernst & Young on 20 March. Full story...
Smoking biggest culprit; obesity second
Average earner will gain £840 in 2018
Will also move heritage items
Responding to letter from Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan