Allen Stanford to be sentenced tomorrow
Prosecutors want maximum 230-year jail term for “ruthless predator”.
HOUSTON, Texas, Wednesday June 13, 2012 – Disgraced Texas financier Allen Stanford will know his fate tomorrow, June 14, when US District Judge David Hittner, who presided over Stanford's six-week trial earlier this year, is scheduled to sentence the former Caribbean playboy.
Once considered a billionaire but subsequently declared indigent, Stanford was convicted on March 6 by a federal jury in Houston on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges.
Prosecutors said he ran a two-decade scheme centred on the sale of bogus certificates of deposit from his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd.
Now, US prosecutors have urged the judge to send the convicted fraudster to prison for 230 years, calling him a "ruthless predator" whose $7 billion Ponzi scheme was among “the most egregious frauds” ever undertaken.
Such a sentence, the maximum recommended under federal sentencing guidelines, would be 80 years longer than Bernard Madoff got in 2009 for his Ponzi scheme, and according to prosecutors reflects Stanford's place as "among the greediest, most selfish, and utterly remorseless criminals."
"Robert Allen Stanford is a ruthless predator responsible for one of the most egregious frauds in history," prosecutors said in a filing in US District Court in Houston. "The sheer magnitude of the money stolen, the duration of the crime, and the extent to which Stanford lived a life steeped in deceit are almost unrivalled."
Stanford's lawyers, meanwhile, are seeking a prison term of 31 to 44 months for their client, which could result in his immediate release because he has already been in custody for three years, according to the government.
Robert Scardino, a lawyer for Stanford, said: "We feel like our recommendations are every bit as appropriate as I'm sure they think theirs are."
Saying that Stanford's request reflected "an audacity that only further illustrates his depravity," prosecutors countered that "the nature and circumstances of Stanford's fraud, his own role and personal history, and the need for forceful deterrence calls for the most severe punishment permitted by law."
Stanford also faces civil charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.