Allen Stanford, the Texas financier accused of a $7 billion (4.2 billion pounds) fraud, replaced his criminal attorney, Dick DeGuerin, with attorneys from the Patton Boggs law firm, the law firms said on Friday.

Mr. R. Allen Stanford today announced that the law firm of DeGuerin and Dickson has been replaced as criminal defense counsel, the statement from a Patton Boggs spokeswoman, said.

Robert Luskin, a managing partner at the Washington, D.C law firm, will lead the defense team, the firm said.

The spokeswoman declined to provide additional details.

Luskin was a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice and has expertise in money laundering and racketeering cases, according to the Patton Boggs website.

DeGuerin had been working with Stanford since March. He was never officially retained because the billionaire's assets have been frozen since February when civil fraud charges were filed.

All I have to say I will say in my motions to withdraw, DeGuerin said.

Stanford, 59, is accused of leading a $7 billion Ponzi scheme centering on certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua. He is in jail awaiting trial and has denied any wrongdoing.

Patton Boggs also represents Stanford in the related civil fraud case filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas.

The criminal case is filed in federal court in Houston, 4:09-cr-00342 USA v. Stanford et al.

(Reporting by Anna Driver)