Cricket Impresario

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2009 (AFP) – Cricket mogul and financier Allen Stanford is refusing to cooperate with authorities investigating his role in an alleged multibillion-dollar fraud, court documents showed Wednesday. The Texas magnate who faces civil charges linked to luring investors into 9.2 billion dollars in securities under fraudulent pretenses, is using his constitutional guarantee against self-incrimination.

“I hereby assert my privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and decline to testify or provide an accounting, and will continue to decline to testify, provide an accounting or produce any documents” in the case, Stanford said in a court filing.

The statement noted that Stanford had been served with a summons and other court orders related to the complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of a hearing set for Thursday in federal court in Dallas, Texas.

Stanford, a wealthy cricket impresario, has not faced criminal charges but the chief investment officer of his financial group, Laura Pendergest-Holt, was arrested last month and charged with obstructing an investigation.

Analysts say Stanford could soon face crimi