HOUSTON - (Mealey's)
The federal judge in Texas
overseeing the criminal case of convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind R. Allen
Stanford sentenced Stanford to 110 years in federal prison on June 14 (United
States of America v. Robert Allen Stanford, No. 09-342, S.D. Texas; See
March 2012, Page 5).
U.S. Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of
Texas' judgment of 1,320 months, or 110 years, came after a jury on March 6
found Stanford guilty of 13 of 14 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy
to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, conspiracy to obstruct a Securities and
Exchange Commission proceeding and obstruction of an SEC proceeding. He
was found not guilty on one charge of wire fraud.
Stanford received 240 months, or 20 years, in prison for
his convictions on the wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail
fraud counts; 60 months each on the conspiracy to obstruct an SEC investigation
and obstruction of an SEC investigation counts, to be served consecutively; and
another 240 months each for five counts of mail fraud and a count of conspiracy
to commit money laundering, to be served concurrently with each other and with
the previous counts.
Judge Hittner recommended to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
that Stanford be "imprisoned in the most secure facility that the BOP finds is
commensurate with his security needs up to and including a U.S. Penitentiary"
and remanded Stanford to the custody of U.S. marshals.
The verdict brought to an end a criminal proceeding that
took nearly three years to bring to trial due to a number of issues.
After a federal grand jury in the District Court issued a
21-count indictment charging Stanford with conspiring to commit securities
fraud and money laundering and conspiring to obstruct and obstructing an
investigation of the SEC in connection with his alleged operation of the Ponzi
scheme, the court granted the government's motion for revocation of release and
committed Stanford to pretrial detention on June 30, 2009, concluding that he
was a flight risk.
On Jan. 26, 2011, Judge Hittner granted in part and
denied in part Stanford's motion for relief and medical treatment after
Stanford suffered a head injury during an altercation with another inmate and
had surgery to repair facial fractures. Stanford was committed to the
custody of the U.S.
attorney general after Judge Hittner heard testimony from three psychiatrists
who cited a number of contributing factors that could have led to Stanford's
mental condition as a result of the injuries.
Then, on June 21, 2011, Judge Hittner issued an order
delaying the start of Stanford's criminal trial, which was slated to begin
Sept. 12, until January 2012. Stanford moved for a continuance on Dec.
28, which Judge Hittner denied as "unwarranted," and in a Jan. 5 order, the judge
refused to strike certain expert testimony finding Stanford competent to stand
trial and ordered Stanford's defense team to prepare for trial.
On March 8, the jury returned a special verdict requiring
Stanford to forfeit $330 million held in 29 financial institutions abroad, and
on March 20, Stanford moved for a new trial, claiming that he was deprived of
his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial. Judge Hittner denied the
motion on March 22.
Stanford appealed his conviction to the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday.
Stanford is represented by Robert A. Scardino Jr. and Ali
R. Fazel of Scardino Fazel in Houston and Lee H.
Shidlofsky of Visser Shidlofsky in Austin,
government is represented by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson in Houston,
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Costa in Houston and William Stellmach and Andrew
H. Warran of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
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