Billionaire financier and cricket mogul is jailed for 110 years
Financier and cricket mogul Allen Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in jail for a €5.5 billion Ponzi scheme, closing the book on the flamboyant ex-tycoon’s stunning fall from grace.
“This is one of the most egregious frauds ever presented to a trial jury in federal court,” Judge David Hittner said as he handed down the lengthy sentence.
Mr Stanford, 62, has spent the past three years in jail after being feared that he would flee the country. He will never taste freedom again.
The sentence will bring some satisfaction − but little financial relief − to 30,000 investors from more than 100 countries who were bilked by bogus investments with Stanford International Bank.
Investigators could not find 92 per cent of the €6.3 billion the bank said it had in assets and cash reserves.
Prosecutors declined to comment due to a gag order that will remain in effect until other Stanford bank executives face trial. They cited moving testimony, however, in a press release announcing the verdict.
“This was not a bloodless financial crime carried out on paper,” Angie Shaw, director and founder of the Stanford Victims Coalition, said at the sentencing hearing.
“It was and is an inconceivably heinous crime and it has taken a staggering toll on the victims.”
Jaime Escalona, who represents victims from Latin America, told Mr Stanford he took advantage of the trust that is placed in US companies and caused losses that prevented families from being able to pay for medical and basic living expenses.
“You are a dirty, rotten scoundrel,” Ms Escalona added.
In a tearful speech, Mr Stanford showed no remorse and blamed the collapse of his empire on the “Gestapo tactics” of overzealous prosecutors and insisted that his investments would have eventually paid dividends.
“I’m not a thief,” Mr Stanford, who did not testify at the trial, told the judge.
“I am and will always be at peace with the way I conducted myself.”
Judge Hittner ordered Mr Stanford to serve the bulk of his penalties consecutively rather than concurrently, which means he will die in jail if he is unable to overturn the conviction at appeal or obtain a pardon.
The judge also imposed a €4.6 billion “personal money judgement” ordering Mr Stanford to repay his criminal proceeds, but found it “impractical” to issue a restitution order, prosecutors said.
Jurors had previously ruled that Mr Stanford should forfeit the €261 million investigators were able to recover from 29 of his foreign bank accounts.
Badly beaten in a jailhouse brawl, Mr Stanford was temporarily declared unfit for trial after he became addicted to painkillers while also on antidepressants.
He tried to have his case completely dismissed after claiming that the beating and drugs destroyed his memory, but the judge denied the request.
Jurors found the mustachioed Texan guilty of 13 of 14 counts of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice in March.
A dual citizen of the United States and the Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr Stanford was known for his largesse, especially on the two paradise islands.
He received a knighthood in 2006 from Antigua, where he was the largest employer, and rose to global prominence in 2008 by creating the Stanford 20/20 cricket tournament.