Second Biggest Ponzi Schemer is Now a Federal Guest – for 110 Years
In what was a vindication for the Federal government, Stanford’s financial empire was shut down in February 2009. It
When the government finally took the fraud to court, Stanford was found guilty of 13 out of 14
Stanford, 66, looked at the seats where his mother and two daughters set. Touching his hand to his heart, law enforcement led Stanford to jail — to await the court’s decision about his appeal — where he has been since his arrest.
Ali Fazel, Stanford’s attorneys, said, “We’re discouraged in the result, and we will appeal.”
Stanford faced a sentence of over 200 years if the sentences were consecutive. Observers believed Stanford would probably face a peak of 20 years if he is sentenced to concurrent terms, a trend usually followed in white-collar cases. In the end, Stanford was given an 110-year prison term
Just a day before publishing the decision, the Houston federal panel told U.S. District Judge David Hittner they could not arrive at a judgment.
Cassie Wilkinson, a Houston investor in Stanford funds, said, “For all the investors I think there is some relief that they weren’t just fools. There was a jury who found the same thing — we were conned.”
Observers across the country closely followed Stanford’s downfall.
Once estimated to have a personal fortune of over $2 billion, Stanford regularly stormed the
Buying a castle in Florida, for one of his lovers, his eldest child lived in a million-dollar condo in Houston, paid for with stolen funds. Stanford enjoyed the high-life as he donned custom-made suits and even funded a $20 million bonus once for an intercontinental cricket competition.
Just hours following the decision, the jurors started to reflect on the government’s demand that over $300 million — in 30 bank accounts connected to Stanford — be relinquished. The capital was held in accounts in Geneva, the UK, and Canada.
“Every dollar that America is trying to forfeit is CD depositor money that connects to Mr. Stanford’s offenses,” said prosecutor Andrew Warren.
During the trial, the prosecution’s lead witness,
Stanford’s attorneys painted their client who was ahead of his time, an idealistic who was not associated with the day-to-day activities at the bank. They pointed to Davis as the perpetrator of the scam and claimed that Stanford’s companies were viable
Wendell Odom, a defense lawyer in Houston, said Stanford’s attorneys discredited Davis, who had pled guilty to three counts. But the attorneys neglected to produce an option for the jury. “There
While Stanford was in jail waiting for his day in court, he was battered by another prisoner. Stanford was left with a brain injury and addiction to anti-anxiety medicine. He was determined to be fit to stand trial following eight months in a prison medical facility even though his attorneys claim that Stanford had lost his recall.
Before the start of the trial, Stanford’s attorneys desired to explain his account to the jury, but the fraudster eventually did not testify.
Growing up in Mexia, Texas, Stanford studied banking at Baylor University. Davis, the same one that testified against him, was his friend at Baylor.
Becoming a real estate investor in the 1980s, Stanford started a foreign bank, Guardian International Bank, on Montserrat.
Becoming a philanthropist in Antigua, Stanford decided to be a cricket sponsor. Cricket, the state pastime, raised his visibility, and he was identified as “Sir Allen” when he was knighted there in 2006. By 2008, Stanford was #205 on Forbes magazine’s listing of the richest Americans.
Questions have surfaced about how Stanford International Bank’s CDs could pay higher than market rates. By February 2009, investors were trying to recoup their money. They weren’t quick enough. On February 17, the government swooped in on his Houston headquarters and shut it down.
Stanford lost his knighthood and all of his assets. Incarcerated at Coleman
It should go without saying that Stanford was banned from the securities industry.