Stanford Sentenced To 110 Years

A federal judge imposed a 110-year sentence on Houston financier R. Allen Stanford. In March, jurors convicted Stanford of running a worldwide Ponzi scheme that bilked more than $7 billion from investors.

Judge David Hittner said Stanford extracted the money from investors to fund his own private business empire and an extraordinarily lavish lifestyle. That included private jets, yachts and a professional cricket tournament in Antigua.

Just before sentencing, Stanford broke his long silence with a rambling statement.  He denied he had committed any crime and insisted he would have been able to pay off his thousands of investors had the government not seized his companies and shut them down.

Ali Fazel is one of Stanford’s attorneys.

“We thought that we had filed enough motions and documents that illustrate why this wasn’t a Ponzi scheme. We still don’t think it’s a Ponzi scheme. But the judge ruled, and that’s what it is. We filed a notice of appeal and I think there’s a lot of issues to be appealed.”

Martha Blanchett was a former Stanford investor present at the sentencing.

“He was arrogant, denying everything. Because he lost, what, his lifestyle? That’s what he lost. And we lost more than money. He doesn’t deserve anything.  Mercy, compassion, nothing.”

There were at least 100 other Stanford victims who packed the galleries for the sentencing. 

Representatives of two groups of Stanford’s victims addressed the judge. Jaime Escalana spoke for the Coalition of Latin American Victims of Stanford. He said more than 60% of Stanford’s victims came from Latin America. Many of them purchased CDs in Stanford’s bank to cover not just retirement but to pay for basic medical care.

“A lot of people, a lot of families have been destroyed totally in, with this crisis. We didn’t see any economic relief for the victims that have been affected, and many of them they are dying, desperate, alone.”

A U.S. appointed receiver and a liquidator appointed by Antigua, where Stanford’s bank was headquartered, are battling over the remnants of Stanford’s global assets.

Under the terms of R. Allen Stanford’s 110-year sentence, he is not eligible for parole.  

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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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