This afternoon, Judge David Hittner sentenced R. Allen Stanford to 110 years in prison for his decades-long Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of over $7 billion. The court also imposed a personal money judgment of $5.9 billion. The sentence was less than half of what the Government requested, but given that Mr. Stanford is already 62, today's sentence means that he is destined to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Mr. Stanford, who was arrested in June 2009, was charged with a scheme under which investors who trusted him with their funds were told that the money was placed in certificates of deposit at the Stanford International Bank based in Antigua. Investors were told that the CDs would pay a higher-than-average rate of return, but instead, Mr. Stanford used the money to, among other things, fund his luxurious lifestyle.
Following his arrest, Mr. Stanford was severely injured in a 2010 fight with inmate in a Texas prison and became addicted to prescription medication. There was some question as to whether he was fit to stand trial, but Judge Hittner ultimately ruled that he was. The defense argued at times that he could not defend himself because memory loss.
However, after a six-week trial, on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, Mr. Stanford was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, five counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an SEC investigation, one count of obstructing an SEC investigation, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was acquitted of one count of wire fraud.