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Ex-Financier Stanford’s Effects Face Texas Auction

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Sir Allen Stanford talks to the London press during a 2008 press conference. (credit: Getty Images/Tom Shaw)

Sir Allen Stanford talks to the London press during a 2008 press conference. (credit: Getty Images/Tom Shaw)

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HOUSTON (AP) – Hundreds of items from the Houston office of disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford, including a Baccarat crystal eagle that retails for $55,000, will be auctioned as part of efforts to recoup some of the billions of dollars he is accused of bilking in a Ponzi scheme.

The spoils to be auctioned Saturday by Seth Worstell Auction Co. also include a more than century-old Victorian-style personal desk and more than two dozen handguns intended to arm a personal security force, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday. A preview is scheduled Friday at the company’s warehouse in an industrial part of Houston.

Stanford is accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion, and faces several federal charges including mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. He remains in custody and is scheduled to stand trial in September in Houston.

As of Jan. 31, a court-appointed receiver had retrieved $188 million from Stanford bank accounts and through the sale of his investments and real estate, the newspaper said. The proceeds will help pay lawyers and investors.

“He (Stanford) was clever, a very clever promoter,” said Harry Worstell, the auctioneer’s father who has spent decades in the sales business.

The firearms include 30 still-in-the-box Glock 9mm handguns that Seth Worstell said had been purchased for a Stanford security force that never materialized.

Other auction items include a mahogany conference table with a matching set of 10 leather chairs, a lectern bearing the eagle logo of Stanford’s company, computer equipment and about 1,150 bottles of wine, champagne and spirits, with an estimated $60,000 to $70,000 retail value.

Fine china, enough to serve 50 guests, is also for sale.

“There’s boxes and boxes of Baccarat china,” the younger Worstell said. “Every glass would cost $100 to replace.”

The auction list also includes about 100 company coffee mugs.

Harry Worstell said he understands the public interest in having something once owned by Stanford, which could become a good investment.

“Anybody who wants to own a piece of Stanford should be here,” he said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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