Fi­nancier Stan­ford con­victed in $7 bil­lion Ponzi fraud

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

HOUS­TON | For­mer Texas ty­coon R. Allen Stan­ford, whose fi­nan­cial em­pire once spanned the Amer­i­cas and made him fab­u­lously wealthy, was con­victed Tues­day of bilk­ing his in­vestors out of more than $7 bil­lion through a Ponzi scheme he op­er­ated for 20 years.

A day af­ter telling U.S. Dis­trict Judge David Hit­tner they were hav­ing trou­ble reach­ing a ver­dict, ju­rors con­victed Stan­ford on 13 of 14 charges he faced, ac­quit­ting him on a sin­gle count of wire fraud stem­ming from Su­per Bowl tick­ets he al­legedly used to bribe a reg­u­la­tor.

Stan­ford, once con­sid­ered one of the wealth­i­est peo­ple in the U.S., looked down when the ver­dict was read. His mother and daugh­ters, who were in the fed­eral court­room in Hous­ton, hugged one an­other, and one of the daugh­ters started cry­ing.

“We are dis­ap­pointed in the out­come. We ex­pect to ap­peal,” Ali Fazel, one of Stan­ford’s at­tor­neys, said af­ter the hear­ing. He said he couldn’t com­ment fur­ther be­cause of a gag or­der Judge Hit­tner placed on at­tor­neys in the case.

Prose­cu­tors and Stan­ford’s fam­ily mem­bers de­clined to com­ment, but one of his in­vestors, Cassie Wilkinson, wel­comed the ver­dict.

“As an in­vestor, you have to doubt whether or not you were stupid or just taken ad­van­tage of. This re­lieves that doubt. It’s a vin­di­ca­tion,” said Ms. Wilkinson, 62, who lives in Hous­ton. She de­clined to say how much money she and her hus­band lost.

Stan­ford, 61, faces up to 20 years for the most se­ri­ous charges against him. But if Judge Hit­tner or­ders him to serve his sen­tences con­sec­u­tively, Stan­ford could get up to 230 years in prison. Dis­graced fi­nancier Bernard Mad­off, by com­par­i­son, was sen­tenced to 150 years in prison for or­ches­trat­ing the largest Ponzi scheme in his­tory. na­tion­wide.

The com­ments re­veal fierce com­pe­ti­tion be­tween those who might want In­ter­net gam­bling in some form. The tribes, like oth­ers, don’t want to be hurt or left out. KIRO-FM she was in a tran­si­tion pe­riod three months ago, miss­ing friends and sun­shine. She says she learned a valu­able les­son. She tweeted Mon­day: “I re­ally do love Seat­tle . . . the sum­mers are to die for.”

Miss Seat­tle rep­re­sents the city this sum­mer at the Miss Washington pageant.

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