Stanford Financial Chief Tried to Flee Country: Source

The head of Stanford Financial Group charged with orchestrating an $8 billion fraud tried Tuesday to get a one-way flight out of the country, a source told CNBC.

R. Allen Stanford tried to arrange the direct flight to Antigua, where his offshore banking operations are based.

He contacted a private jet owner at 3 pm and attempted to pay for the flight with a credit card, but was refused because the company would only accept a wire transfer, a source in the private jet industry said. Stanford had asked to leave by 6 pm.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Stanford with an $8 billion fraud in which he allegedly lured investors with promises of high returns on certificates of deposit. Instead, he put the money in "black boxes" with hard-to-trade assets, the SEC said.

Of the money Stanford allegedly swindled, as much as $1.5 billion belonged to US investors, who recouped most of their investments through redemptions that began to pour in following the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. (Read more here)