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Closing Arguments Done, Stanford Case Goes To Jury

The fate of Houston financier R. Allen Stanford is now in the hands of the jury.

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Prosecutor William Stellmach argued Stanford’s 20 year business career hinged on three big lies. He said Stanford lied about what he was doing with the money of depositors in Stanford International Bank. He said Stanford compounded this by lying about his ability to repay depositors and by falsely telling them their investments were protected.

Attorneys Ali Fazel and Robert Scardino split the defense’s closing argument. Fazel said the government had failed to provide evidence Stanford had intended to defraud anyone or to engage in criminal conspiracy. Without showing intent, Fazel said, the government had failed to prove Stanford’s guilt.

Scardino focused on the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses. He honed in on the government’s star witness, former Stanford CFO James Davis. In his summing up, Scardino described Davis as “one of the worst liars imaginable.”

Stanford is facing fourteen criminal counts: five on wire fraud, five on mail fraud, three on conspiracy, and one on obstruction of an SEC investigation. The jury continues its deliberation this morning.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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