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Kroll’s roll in the Stanford muck

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Kroll Associates is the big name in the world of corporate investigations. But a former top gumshoe at Kroll has mud on his feet as a result of the firm’s past involvement with accused Ponzi mastermind Allen Stanford.

In the late 1990s, Stanford hired Kroll’s Miami office to help with a number of internal investigations. But more important, Stanford retained Kroll to help smooth the waters with a parade of federal investigators who were raising questions about Stanford’s growing banking empire on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua.

And for a long time, Stanford’s strategy of hiring Kroll to put some polish on his image appeared to work. Stanford was finally unmasked as a charlatan this year, when the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors charged the former Texas billionaire with running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

This week’s indictment of Stanford’s former chief of security, Thomas Raffanello, may further muddy the waters over the dealings of Kroll — a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies — with Stanford.

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