Backstory at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/business/18stanford.html, which says:
[T]he Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday accused Robert Allen Stanford, the chief of the Stanford Financial Group, of fraud in the sale of about $8 billion of high-yielding certificates of deposit held in the firm’s bank in Antigua.http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/02/17/52576/the-full-sec-complaint-against-stanford/ has a series of blog posts on the group.
Shortly after 10 a.m. Central time, about 40 police officers and other law enforcement officials simultaneously entered Stanford Group’s two office buildings in Houston.
The SEC complaint filed against R. Allen Stanford and his companies is at http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2009/comp20901.pdf?bcsi_scan_447638299E31E942=Dp61twMoOKBnAMQdCH19eAoAAACtCX0M&bcsi_scan_filename=comp20901.pdf
After Bernie Madoff, I think the SEC simply had to be seen to do something. (The Times article touches on that as well.)