In 2008, a Texan billionaire called Allen Stanford flew into Lord’s cricket ground carrying $20 million in cash. Using his vast fortune, he was to revitalise the game, attracting new fans around the globe. He’d convinced the England team to play a ‘winner takes all’ tournament against his own West Indian side, for the eye-watering prize. In this landmark three-part series for Sky Documentaries, we reveal that cricket’s would-be saviour was nothing but a sophisticated conman. A tale of sex, crime and cricket, it ends with Stanford being sent to prison for 110 years, having stolen $7 billion dollars running the 2nd biggest Ponzi scheme of all time.
With exclusive interviews and rich archive, this is the definitive telling of an extraordinary crime story. The investigation that brought Stanford down is the driving force of the series, revealing how the FBI had uncovered the dark secret at the heart of his financial empire, just as he was being revered as one of the richest men in the world. His spectacular fall from grace is told by the investigators and attorneys on both sides, as well as those who knew him personally. Whether former Antiguan employees who saw him as their saviour, whistle-blowers who feared for their lives, investors who lost everything or cricketers who played to win his money – all of them wonder – how did a man from rural Texas, who knew nothing about banking, get away with it for 23 years?
The Billion Dollar Scoundrel (w/t) is directed by Stuart Bernard, produced by Charlie Melville and Andrew Mackenzie and Greg James will serve as Executive Producers. The Sky Original documentary is commissioned by Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content and Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual. Hayley Reynolds is the Commissioning Editor. The series is distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.