Stanford empire's link to Enfield terrace (Texan Millionaire)
Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter
THE financial empire of a Texan tycoon facing multi-billion-dollar fraud charges was audited from a terrace house in Enfield, the Standard can reveal today.
The man who bankrolled a Â£70million sponsorship deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board is accused of an $8billion fraud, although the true scale of his alleged deception may be even higher. At one stage Stanford International Bank claimed to control more than $50 billion of assets.
The suggestion that a lone accountant working from a north London office could have been in charge of Stanford's investment empire, which consisted of a series of small companies around the world, will cause incredulity in the financial world.
Little-known accountancy firm CAS Hewlett was responsible for checking the books of Stanford International Bank of Antigua for almost a decade.
CAS Hewlett was orignally run from Antigua by the firm's founder Charlesworth Shelley Hewlett but when he died last month, operations are understood to have transferred to his daughter Celia Hewlett.
The business CAS Hewlett is currently registered to a house converted into offices in Southbury Road, Enfield, close to the railway station.
There is no company sign and five other companies appear to be operating at the first and second floor offices, including a mortgage provider and design company. One worker entering the office block this morning told the Standard: "I've been working here for two years and there has been no sign of any accountancy firms and I've never heard of Celia Hewlett."
The US Securities and Exchange Commission, which is bringing the case against Sir Allen, will want to know how an accountancy firm the size of CAS Hewlett could have audited a large-scale investment bank.
The case has echoes of the Bernard Madoff scandal in which up to $50billion of investors' money has gone missing. Madoff, who was charged in December, employed an auditor in an industrial estate in a New York suburb which consisted of a 13ft by 18ft office, staffed by three people , one of whom was 78. The Stanford allegations are hugely embarrassing for the England and Wales Cricket Board which immediately suspended relations with him.
Sir Allen bankrolled a winner-take-all $20million cricket match between England and a team of all-stars last year.
In a complaint filed in a federal court in Dallas, the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused him and two other executives at Stanford Financial Group of fraudulently selling $8billion in high-yield certificates of deposit in a scheme that stretched around the world.
Sir Allen, who got an honorary knighthood from Antigua, has denied any wrongdoing.