Law enforcement officials said Stanford is in custody after surrendering in Stafford, Va. Authorities plan to unseal an indictment charging Stanford on Friday, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
Stanford is to appear in federal court in Richmond on Friday morning, they added.
A grand jury in Houston has been investigating Stanford Financial Group. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges earlier this year accusing Stanford and his top executives of conducting an $8 billion fraud by advising clients to buy certificates of deposit from the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.
Dick DeGuerin, Stanford's attorney in Houston, told The Associated Press that Stanford "surrendered this afternoon to some FBI agents who were hiding out in black SUVs outside the residence where he was staying in Virginia."
"He walked out and asked if they had a warrant," DeGuerin said. He said Stanford told them to arrest him if they had a warrant and said if they didn't he would go back to Houston Friday to turn himself in.
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko declined to comment.
Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford's parent company, faces criminal charges of obstructing the SEC's investigation by lying about her knowledge of the firm's activities and omitting key details.
Jeff Tillotson, her attorney, told the AP that they "fully expect a superceding indictment in our case."
He has said she was "set up" by Stanford.
Stanford is an avowed cricket fanatic who financed a Caribbean team called the "Stanford Superstars," and once put up a $20 million dollar cash prize for a cricket match in Antigua.