DALLAS -- Attorneys for Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford have asked a judge to release $10 million so he can pay for his defense.
Stanford is accused of running a massive Ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil charges against him and top officers of the Stanford Financial Group in February, saying they were involved in an $8 billion fraud.
The SEC claims investors were lied to about the safety of investments sold by the bank as certificates of deposit and promised unrealistically high rates of return.
A court filing says Stanford was left with no assets to retain counsel for his defense after his assets were seized.
In the filing it is estimated his litigation costs will exceed $20 million.
Stanford previously filed a response denying the SEC's allegations without a lawyer and blamed Texas attorney Ralph Janvey for not being able to hire an attorney.
Janvey was appointed receiver by the court to take over companies owned by Stanford.