UPDATE: Neighbor 'shocked' at Stanford news page 3
Billionaire accused of fraud is found in Stafford
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UPDATE (3:11 p.m.): Journalists and a half-dozen media satellite trucks continue to stake out the Heather Hills view homes for sale in Heather Hills subdivision in Stafford County ( all about Stafford
), where Stanford was believed to be staying. It's unclear whether he's there or not. The residence of interest is a modest townhouse with an American flag hanging out front and a gold Lexus SUV parked directly in front of it. It has 1,454 square feet and three bedrooms, according to property records online at intelius.com. A bank repo sign hangs in front of a neighboring house.
Kitsy Young lives in a townhouse near where Stanford was believed to be staying.
"I was shocked that it was right across the street from where I live," she said.
When media broke the story to her last night, she hadn't realized exactly who they were talking about. She never imagined it was someone so prominent - until she turned on the TV news and made the connection.
"I was thinking it couldn't be the one I saw on the news," she thought at first. And then? "Oh my gosh! It is the guy across the street.
"You don't think somebody from your neighborhood is going to do something like that - let alone in a townhouse neighborhood. You'd think he'd have had some money" to stay someplace nicer, she said.
Six homes are currently listed for sale in the neighborhood, ranging in price from $129,900 to $164,360. One the same size as the home Stanford was believed to be staying in is listed at $149,900.
She said she doesn't have major concerns, but it's not a comfortable situation.
"It feels a little disconcerting that someone of that character would be across the street," said Young, who works for the Department of Defense. "Someone of that character, you don't know what else they might do."
Christina Erie, 31, lives three doors down from where Stanford was believed to be.
"I think it's kind of crazy," she said. "Of all places?"
She said relatives have been calling asking her, "Is that your neighborhood."
For her family, she said, the news has stirred some excitement. News crews trained their cameras and lights on the house a few doors down from hers all last night.
"Our house was just glowing from all the lights," she said. A hovering helicopter and unmarked cars added to the weirdness.
Erie admits to thinking about all the money Stanford might have access to - and what he might have done with it.
"I've looked over our porch and thought, 'Hmm, I wonder what's in that doghouse.' "
- Brian Baer
Have YOU had an encounter with Stanford?
If so, please email reporter Edie Gross.
Date published: 2/20/2009
By Edie Gross
He's also a major player in U.S. politics, personally donating nearly a million dollars, mostly to Democrats. At 6-feet-4 and 240 pounds, he towered over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while giving her a warm hug at the Democratic National Convention last year.
He operates businesses from Houston to Miami and Switzerland to Antigua, where the government knighted him in 2006 in recognition of his economic influence and charity work.
In an e-mail to his employees last week, Stanford said his company was cooperating with the SEC probe and vowed to "fight with every breath to continue to uphold our good name and continue the legacy we have built together."
Stanford's 81-year-old father, James Stanford, is listed as a company director, but he's not named in the SEC complaint.
"I wasn't aware of the promises [to investors] that the SEC alludes to," the elder Stanford told the Dallas Morning News from the modest Mexia, Texas, home where he was born. "I'm not flamboyant--big cars and fancy homes. My son is more akin to that.
"He's sort of a Boss Hogg-type guy."
He told the Associated Press that he'd be "disappointed, heartbroken" if the allegations against his son turned out to be true.
Staff writer Edie Gross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.