A prominent Houston businessman is under fire. Federal authorities are accusing Robert Allen Stanford, chairman of the Stanford Financial Group, of an 8 billion dollar investment fraud scheme and have frozen assets at three of the companies he controls.
Shortly after 10 Tuesday morning, dozens of federal agents raided the Stanford Group's two office buildings in the Galleria.
As the news spread -that the bank was temporarily shut down, accused of massive fraud, panicked investors rushed to see what was going on and try to get their money back.
"I went to talk to people in the bank and by phone; they didn't want to tell me anything," says Gabriel Cautilli who opened an account with Stanford about two years ago.
Long-time client Kelly Dehay says, "I tried to access Stanford's website and it's down, I guess it's gone forever."
Dehay invested 24% of his portfolio with Stanford.
"I'm really more concerned about the international bank, it appeared to be so safe, everything we were told, everything we had been given to read and study - we weren't dummies," he says.
The SEC alleges the firm lied to customers about how their money was being invested and how it's investment portfolios had performed in the past.
Dehay says he was first alerted to the problems on Friday the 13th. When he showed up at the office he was told he would get some of his money back, which did little to ease his fears.
"I think that's the part the hurts the worst, I started planning for retirement a long time ago and I just feel betrayed. I'm not angry, that's not going to do me any good, but I feel betrayed," Dehay says.
There is a website for investors and employees to keep track of what's going on. Click here for more information.