Arab Today, arab today 7b swindle over 2 decades catches up with stanford
Last Updated : GMT 08:53:10
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

$7b swindle over 2 decades catches up with Stanford

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today $7b swindle over 2 decades catches up with Stanford

Houston - Arabsotday

Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford spent more than 20 years charming investors, who handed him billions of dollars they had spent their lives accumulating through hard work and saving. Stanford promised them safe investments that would help fulfil their dreams of being able to retire comfortably or pay their children\'s college tuition. All the while, he was pulling their money out of his Caribbean bank to pay for a string of failed businesses and a jet-setting lifestyle. Stanford, once considered one of the wealthiest people in the US, with a financial empire that spanned the Americas, was convicted Tuesday on charges he bilked investors out of more than $7 billion (Dh25.70 billion). Prosecutors said his business acumen was nothing more than an old-fashioned Ponzi scheme, and jurors convicted him on 13 of 14 charges, including conspiracy, wire and mail fraud. He was acquitted on a single count of wire fraud that accused him of bribing a regulator with Super Bowl tickets. Stanford looked down when the verdict was read in federal court in Houston, where his financial empire was based. His mother and daughters hugged one another, and one of his daughters started crying. \"We are disappointed in the outcome. We expect to appeal,\" Stanford attorney Ali Fazel said after the hearing. He said he couldn\'t comment further because of a gag order placed on attorneys in the case. A civil trial in which prosecutors hope to seize about $300 million from more than 30 Stanford-controlled accounts in countries including Switzerland, Britain and Canada started later on Tuesday before the same jury. US district judge David Hittner will likely set Stanford\'s sentencing date after the civil trial, which could last as little as a full day. The most serious charges against Stanford carry up to 20 years in prison, and if Hittner ordered him to serve his sentences consecutively, the 61-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars. Prosecutors say Stanford used investors\' money to fund a string of failed businesses, bribe regulators and pay for luxuries such as yachts and private jets. His attorneys portrayed Stanford as a visionary entrepreneur who made money for investors and conducted legitimate business deals. Stanford\'s net worth was once estimated at more than $2 billion, but he received court-appointed attorneys after his assets were seized or frozen. The prosecution\'s star witness — James M. Davis, the former chief financial officer for Stanford\'s various companies — told jurors he and Stanford worked together to falsify bank records and other documents to conceal the fraud. Stanford did not testify in his own defence. His attorneys told jurors the financier was trying to consolidate his businesses to repay investors when authorities seized his companies. They accused Davis of being behind the fraud and lying to get a reduced sentence. Davis pleaded guilty to three fraud and conspiracy charges in 2009 as part of a deal with prosecutors. From gulfnews

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