Stanford was coughing steadily throughout the day. Judge David Hittner called a recess around 3 pm, then adjourned for the day half an hour later.
Before the early recess, the defense was able to squeeze in two witnesses and start on a third. All worked for the Marcum LLP accounting firm. The first, John Mezzanotte, testified on a feasibility study he’d done regarding the development of an island off Antigua’s coast as a high-end resort. The defense says this undercuts the government’s claim that the resort was itself part of a plan to defraud investors.
A second witness, Michael Callahan, said Stanford brokers collected only a 3% commission on sales of certificates of deposit from Stanford International Bank. He said that was well within what broker-dealers considered normal and should not be seen as an excessive reward for selling CDs.
The defense had just begun hearing testimony from CPA Morris Hollander when Judge Hittner called a halt to proceedings. Hollander returns to the stand this morning.