Defense witnesses say Stanford wasn’t hands-on boss

The Houston Chronicle on February 16, 2012 released the following:

“Defense witnesses portrayed R. Allen Stanford as distant from the day-to-day operation of his companies, as his lawyers laid a foundation Thursday for their contention that financial machinations by a star prosecution witness led to fraud charges against Stanford.

Joan Stack, who headed global human resources for Stanford’s companies in the final two years before U.S. regulators shut them down, characterized her boss as “disconnected” from much of the companies’ operations. She said he focused mostly on the Island Club, a resort for the wealthy he hoped to develop on Caribbean islands he owned.

She testified that government witness James Davis, Stanford’s former chief financial officer, worked out of an office in Tupelo, Miss. that Stanford set up to accommodate Davis, his longtime business associate and former college roommate.

Davis pleaded guilty to three felony counts and testified against Stanford during the government’s portion of the trial.

Stack described the Tupelo office as clubby, employing mostly relatives and friends of Davis or Laura Holt, former Stanford chief investment officer who is named in a separate indictment and will be tried later.

Stack said employees in Tupelo reported solely to Davis and Holt rather than to others in the company.

Kelly Bailey, a graphic designer, testified that Stanford told her to “work with Jim” on annual report numbers.

Bailey testified that Davis was “highly disrespectful” of Stanford and once mumbled under his breath “something to the effect of ‘he doesn’t know what he’s doing’” in reference to Stanford as they worked on financial reports.

She acknowledged under government cross-examination, however, that Stanford had the final say on annual reports.

Government witnesses testified earlier in the trial that they saw Stanford and Davis changing numbers on annual reports before sending them to printers, and Davis said they fabricated figures to make financial reports look more favorable.

Bailey said she also recalled last-minute changes on reports, but could not detail what they were.

Stanford is accused of running a $7 billion investor fraud through certificates of deposit issued by his Stanford International Bank in the Caribbean nation of Antigua.”

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