|Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Philip Hilder quoted in Reuters article |
Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in prison
|June 14, 2012 11:48 pm|
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Former billionaire Allen Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison on Thursday for running a $7 billion scheme in which he stole money from his investors to finance an extravagant lifestyle in the Caribbean.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner said Stanford's actions were among the most "egregious criminal frauds," and investors who lost money said Stanford's crimes were worse than those of Bernard Madoff, another Ponzi schemer.
In March, a jury convicted Stanford of 13 charges including fraud and conspiracy for selling certificates of deposit from his bank in Antigua to thousands of investors in the United States and Latin America. He had already spent some of those proceeds on yachts, girlfriends, sponsorship of a cricket tournament and other accoutrements of a high-rolling life.
Philip Hilder, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Houston, said Hittner likely just followed the federal sentencing guidelines.
"While it is exorbitant, the judge sentenced to what the guidelines called for," Hilder said.
During a six-week trial earlier this year, jurors heard how Stanford International Bank in Antigua issued certificates of deposit with above market interest rates that were peddled by an army of highly incentivized brokers. Customers in the United States and Latin America were promised a safe, highly liquid investment, but Stanford invested the money in real estate, and private equity companies.
© Copyright 2012 Reuters
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