Former agent goes to court on Stanford-related charge

September 13, 2009

A former top federal drug agent appeared handcuffed in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., federal court today, a day after he was indicted on charges related to the Stanford Financial Group fraud case.

Thomas Raffanello, who was Stanford Financial's global security director, is accused of conspiracy, destroying records and impeding a probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into the operations of Stanford Financial, founded by Texas native R. Allen Stanford-who also faces criminal charges.

Raffanello is the former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Miami office.

Magistrate Robin Rosenbaum set bail at $100,000 and set Raffanello's arraignment for next Friday.

Raffanello, 61, is the second Stanford executive to be charged in Florida by prosecutors and federal securities regulators who accuse Stanford and others of bilking investors out of more than $7 billion through a scheme involving bogus certificates of deposit.

Thursday's three-count indictment accuses Raffanello, 61, and Bruce Perraud, 42, of helping to shred documents at Stanford Financial's office in Fort Lauderdale. Their lawyers have said the men only destroyed documents after giving investigators electronic duplicates.

R. Allen Stanford, who also denies wrongdoing, is being held without bail in a Conroe jail awaiting trial on a 19-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Houston. That indictment also named three other company executives and a banking regulator in the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Another company executive was charged separately, pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.


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