05/14/2009 03:21 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Who Protected Allen Stanford?

Why wasn't R. Allen Stanford aggressively investigated until this year, in spite of years of red flags? There's been some speculation that he was a protected government informer.

The DEA agent who handled him talked exclusively to GQ Magazine for my story on Stanford for the June issue. Former agent David Tinsley told me Stanford willingly turned over the funds of a dead drug kingpin, and volunteered to help more. Tinsley thought his bank would be a gold mine of money laundering information. It is an intriguing new part of the story and an unusual story for a banker like Stanford. But that was back in 1999.

Or was Stanford's operation cushioned by his political access? Why would he need the DEA if he had friends at the highest levels of the US government. Stanford claimed to me in an interview for the GQ story that he'd met the president in Crawford with a large group of business people.
He told me there were congressmen he could still reach by phone if he wanted to.

Stanford gave to both Democrats and Republicans on a massive scale: he told me he wanted them to know what Stanford Financial was. Now they are surely trying to forget, though.

Stanford still has not been indicted, although he certainly expects to be. The Texan's gorgeous young "chief investment officer" was just indicted on charges of trying to obstruct the SEC investigation this year.