A federal court in Houston, TX, has found Allen Stanford guilty of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, a spokesperson for the court has confirmed.
The spokesperson did not wish to comment on media reports that have said that Stanford faces up to 20 years in prison, but suggested that it may take longer than the usual three months before he receives his sentence.
Stanford, who was convicted on 13 of the 14 charges, pleaded guilty for defrauding around 30,000 investors with bogus investments through Stanford International Bank based in Antigua in the West Indies.
He was arrested in June 2009 and first pleaded not guilty, but the firm’s chief financial officer, James Davis, pleaded guilty shortly afterwards.
As part of the scheme, Stanford allegedly misled investors to believe proceeds from fraudulent certificates of deposit were invested in relatively safe and liquid investments, such as blue-chip companies, when in fact they went into illiquid assets such as Caribbean real estate and start-up companies.
“The receivers and liquidators of the Stanford empire will continue their task of recovering and distributing such value as remains,” Matthews said. “The jury’s earlier difficulty in reaching a verdict is indicative of the complexity of cases such as this, where the fraudster’s activities cross jurisdictions and are embedded in numerous corporate entities. The US law enforcement agencies will point to their continuing determination to bring cases to trial and secure convictions even in long-running investigations.”
It emerged in February that Stanford drew on a Swiss bank account to support expenses such as yacht maintenance and paying bribes.