The 59-year old Stanford, handcuffed and wearing an orange prison-issued jumpsuit, entered his plea before federal judge Frances Stacy. He's charged in a 21-count indictment of fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors allege his investors lost an estimated 7-billion dollars in an enormous Ponzi scheme. Stanford and his co-defendants are accused of misusing and misappropriating investment assets. His attorney Dick DeGuerin said he will need a year to prepare for trial which he thinks will last six months.
"The big fight is still ahead. It's gonna take a long time, but I'm very confident that when the truth comes out, the world will see that Allen Stanford didn't defraud anybody."
In addition to Stanford, three other executives of the Stanford Financial Group, Laura Pendergast-Holt, Gilberto Lopez and Mark Kuhrt, entered not guilty pleas and bonded out. Before Judge Stacy set bail, prosecutor Paul Pelletier argued that Stanford was a flight risk and should be held until his trial. Again, defense attorney Dick DeGuerin:
"The district judges trust the magistrates to work hard and be fair and I'd be very surprised if Judge Hittner found any fault with Judge Stacy did."
As a condition of his bail, Stanford must live with his fianc© and wear a GPS tracking device. He remains jailed until he puts down a hundred thousand dollars in cash.
Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.