Stanford Financial Group's

certificate of deposits have attracted the attention of federal and state regulators who are investigating the investment strategies that allow the firm to offer interest rates more than twice the market average,



Stanford says it generates the high returns by investing CD money in stocks, real estate, hedge funds and precious metals. The Houston-based firm says it follows industry standards for marketing and sales and that the regulatory scrutiny is part of "routine examinations," according to



Privately held Stanford, founded in 1932, says on its Web site that its investment goal is to "provide consistent returns regardless of market volatility." The company says its assets under management or advisement top $50 billion.


Securities & Exchange Commission

, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority are all investigating Stanford Financial, focusing on the high-yield CDs and how the company could afford to offer employees large bonuses and other perks such as luxury cars and vacations,


reported, citing people close to the investigations.

Hall is the editor of

. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at

The Orange County Register

and as a news manager at

Bloomberg News

in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at

The Journal-Gazette

in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including

The Wall Street Journal


The New York Times


International Herald Tribune

. Hall received a bachelor�s degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and has taken graduate management science courses at Boston University.