HOUSE ARREST: Former Antiguan regulator bailed but not completely free
ST JOHN'S, Antigua, June 25, 2009 - The former head of Antigua and Barbuda's Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) Leroy King has been placed under house arrest.
He appeared in court today after turning himself in to authorities, following the issuance of a provisional arrest warrant late yesterday evening.
Accompanied by lawyer Ralph Francis, who held brief on behalf of attorney John Fuller, King surrendered to police this morning and was formally arrested.
When he made his court appearance before Chief Magistrate Ivan Walters, he was granted EC$500,000 bail (US$191,535) with two sureties. Under the conditions of his bail release, King had to pay EC$100,000 (US$38,307) of the amount in cash and was ordered to surrender all travel documents and to visit the St John’s Police Station everyday between 6 am and 6 pm.
Apart from his daily visits to the police station, the only other time King will be allowed to leave his residence in the north of the island would be to seek medical attention. That allowance was made after Francis told the court, in his application for bail, that King had a medical condition that required him to receive frequent treatment.
The restrictions will remain in place until July 30th when the magistrate will review the house arrest order.
American officials made the request for King, who has dual Antiguan and American citizenship, to be detained while they prepare an extradition order for him to face charges in the US. The allegations relate to his role in the US$8 billion fraud allegedly committed by investor Sir Allen Stanford.
King is facing charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, conspiracy to launder illegal proceeds, and conspiracy to obstruct the US Securities and Exchange Commission investigations into Sir Allen and the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank (SIB).
It has been alleged that King accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and gifts from Sir Allen to turn a blind eye to his illegal activities. He also allegedly conducted sham audits and examination of SIB's books and records.
King was on Tuesday fired as FSRC head and replaced by career banker Everett Christian. His sacking followed closely on the heels of his suspension last Thursday.
Prior to that, he had been sent on leave pending the FSRC Board's investigation into his conduct as it related to SIB, Sir Allen and other matters.
The Board said it had found that King had, among other things, "deliberately or negligently failed to inform the Board of various questionable decisions he had taken regarding SIB".
Meantime, a shackled Sir Allen, wearing an orange prison jump-suit, yesterday also appeared in court in Texas and pleaded not guilty to all 21 criminal charges filed against him. Unlike King, he will remain in jail for the time being.
US Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy had set a US$500,000 bond with a US$100,000 cash deposit, but stayed her order until Friday after the US Justice Department said it plans to appeal her decision, arguing that Sir Allen was likely to flee the country rather than face life in prison if convicted of the charges.