Cross-Examination of Stanford CFO James Davis Begins

Defense counsel Robert Scardino made the question of Davis’ credibility as a witness the heart of his opening argument. He wasted no time in pressing the issue when finally given the chance to question Davis.

One of his first questions for the former CFO was, “When you met with prosecutors, did you tell them, ‘I’m a liar?’” Davis answered, “Yes.” Scardino: “Did you tell them you were a crook?” Davis: “A fraudster.” Scardino: “Did you tell them you were a coward?” Davis: “Yes. I told them I was a coward.”

Much of what followed hinged on Scardino’s efforts to tie Davis directly to criminal activity. He focused on the near $1 billion loan Davis took out from Stanford International Bank in December 2008 and January 2009, pointing to the lack of available evidence that Davis had obtained Stanford’s permission for the loan as Davis claimed.

Scardino also raised questions about a string of affairs Davis had. These included one with Laura Pendergest-Holt, whom he met while teaching a bible class with his wife and who later became Stanford’s chief investment officer.


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