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Stanford Financial Exec Arrested by FBI

HOUSTON -- The chief investment officer of troubled Stanford Financial Group was due in court Friday, as new details emerged showing the head of the firm borrowed $1.6 billion from the troubled company's assets.

Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford is the "Executive A" referred to in court documents filed against his chief investment officer Laura Pendergest-Holt, a person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing investigation.

Pendergest-Holt is due in court in Houston on charges she obstructed the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of Stanford's financial group.

Documents filed in Pendergest-Holt's case indicate that Stanford, the executive at the center of what the SEC says is an $8 billion investment swindle, grew irate at a meeting of executives earlier this month as the feds closed in.

The court papers say that people who attended the Feb. 5 meeting in Miami described Stanford pounding the table and saying, "The assets are there."

At another meeting, the documents say, it was revealed that Stanford had taken a $1.6 billion loan from the company's assets.

Stanford was served legal papers by FBI agents last week and ordered to surrender his passport, but has not been charged with a crime.

Pendergest-Holt was arrested Thursday in Houston, where Stanford Financial Group is based. The FBI said she was taken to the federal detention center and would appear in federal court Friday morning for an arraignment.

"She is looking forward to working with the government to get all the facts out and put this behind her," her attorney Brent Baker said Thursday night.

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