Stanford Should Get 230-Year Term in Ponzi Scheme, U.S. Says

June 7, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle on June 6, 2012 released the following:

“Laurel Brubaker Calkins,

June 6 (Bloomberg) — Convicted Ponzi scheme operator R. Allen Stanford should be sentenced to the maximum allowable term of 230 years in prison, federal prosecutors argued in court papers.

Stanford, who the government said is seeking a sentence of “time served,” is to be sentenced next week in U.S. District Court in Houston.

“Robert Allen Stanford is a ruthless predator responsible for one of the most egregious frauds in history,” the Justice Department said in a 34-page filing. “Displaying an audacity that only further illustrates his depravity, Stanford seeks a sentence of time served, brazenly arguing that there are no losses” and rehashing arguments rejected by the jury that convicted him in March.

Stanford, 62, was found guilty of defrauding more than 20,000 investors through the sale of what the government called bogus certificates of deposit at his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. A court-appointed receiver marshalling the ex-billionaire’s assets has located less than $500 million in cash and assets that can be used to repay investors.

Stanford’s own sentencing recommendation was filed under seal. Prosecutors said he asked U.S. District Judge David Hittner for leniency, in part because he is a first-time offender.

Stripped of Assets

Stanford also denied that investors suffered any losses while he was running Stanford Financial Group and “complains that he was stripped of all his assets,” by the government, prosecutors said.

The recommended 230 years is at the top of the range of sentences for Stanford’s crime under federal guidelines, the prosecutors said in the filing.

“Nothing speaks more eloquently of Stanford’s character than his sentencing arguments in this case,” the Justice Department lawyers wrote. “After everything that he has done to so many innocent victims, Stanford does not show a hint of remorse for his misconduct, only the same arrogant, narcissistic behavior that led to it.”

Stanford has been incarcerated as a flight risk since his indictment in June 2009. He was charged about three months after U.S. securities regulators seized his companies on suspicion they were a “massive” Ponzi scheme, in which late-arriving investors’ funds were used to pay earlier investors.

Stanford’s Sentence Request

Stanford’s lawyers have requested a prison sentence of 31 to 44 months, prosecutors said.

Robert A. Scardino, one of Stanford’s criminal-defense lawyers, said by phone that his side is “hoping for the best and preparing for the worst” at the June 14 sentencing. Scardino declined to comment further, citing a court order not to speak publicly about the case.

A Justice Department spokeswoman, Alisa Finelli, didn’t immediately reply to e-mail or voice messages seeking comment on the filing.

The case is U.S. v. Stanford, 4:09-cr-0342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Houston Federal Jury Convicts R. Allen Stanford on 13 out of 14 Counts

March 6, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on March 6, 2012 released the following:

“Allen Stanford Convicted on 13 of 14 Counts

By Daniel Gilbert

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted international financier R. Allen Stanford on 13 out of 14 charges of money laundering and fraud in what prosecutors called a Ponzi scheme that lost billions of dollars for investors.

The jury of eight men and four women found him not guilty on one count of wire fraud.

The verdict, coming on the fourth full day of deliberation after a monthlong trial, marks a stunning comedown for Mr. Stanford, 61 years old, who rose from owning a bodybuilding gym in Texas to become a billionaire knighted in Antigua.

As the verdict was read Mr. Stanford, wearing a dark suit, turned to where his family members were sitting and appeared the mouth the words, “It’s okay.”

The verdict caps a three-year criminal prosecution that has blocked investors from attempting to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from Mr. Stanford, and which has stalled a civil lawsuit against him brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It came a day after jurors said they could not reach a unanimous verdict on all counts, and U.S. District Judge David Hittner ordered them to keep deliberating.

Prosecutors had accused Mr. Stanford, 61 years old, of swindling thousands of investors by selling them certificates of deposit issued by a bank he controlled in Antigua. They say he invested these proceeds in risky real-estate assets and his own businesses, funding a lavish lifestyle aboard yachts and jets and even sponsoring cricket tournaments.

Mr. Stanford’s lawyers, who ultimately chose not to let him testify in his own defense, countered that he ran a legitimate business that was ruined when the SEC raided his office in 2009 and froze his assets. They portrayed Mr. Stanford as an absentee chief executive, and argued that any fraud would have been committed by his chief financial officer, James Davis, a key government witness.”

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal District Court Judge Told a Federal Jury That They Must Keep Deliberating in the R. Allen Stanford Federal Criminal Trial

March 6, 2012

The New York Times on March 5, 2012 released the following:

“Jurors Told to Keep Talking in Financier’s Fraud Trial

By BLOOMBERG NEWS

The judge in the fraud trial of the financier R. Allen Stanford ordered the jury on Monday to return to deliberations after it said it could not reach a unanimous verdict in its fourth day of reviewing the evidence.

The eight men and four women on the jury told Judge David Hittner of Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston that they had been unable to reach a verdict on each of the 14 counts, the judge said, reading a note they had written to lawyers for both sides.

Judge Hittner instructed jurors to continue deliberations, saying that the trial had taken a lot of time and money and that it was unlikely that the lawyers could put on a better trial or that another jury could be more conscientious.

”It is your duty to agree upon a verdict if you can do so, without surrendering your conscientious opinion,” Judge Hittner said.

Mr. Stanford, 61, is accused of leading a $7 billion international fraud scheme involving the sale of certificates of deposit issued by his bank, which was based in Antigua.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the most severe charges, mail fraud and wire fraud. Mr. Stanford says he is not guilty.

The jury left for the day after it was told to resume deliberations.

Jury selection began Jan. 23. The panel heard five weeks of evidence.

The government presented testimony from investors who had bought the reportedly fraudulent C.D.’s and from the executives who had helped sell them.

The witnesses included government officials and the former chief financial officer of the Stanford Financial Group, James M. Davis, who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges in 2009 and testified for five days against Mr. Stanford.

The defense presented former Stanford employees who said they had seen no evidence of fraud at the company. Mr. Stanford did not testify during the trial.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Defense witnesses say Stanford wasn’t hands-on boss

February 17, 2012

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.”

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Witness Says He Warned Stanford on Ponzi Plan

February 3, 2012

The New York Times on February 2, 2012 released the following:

“By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

HOUSTON — As R. Allen Stanford’s chief financial officer, James A. Davis knew a lot about his boss’s offshore banking operations. As he took the witness stand on Thursday against his former boss, Mr. Davis said he repeatedly warned him over the years that his Ponzi scheme would collapse, and to make his point graphically he would cup his hands as if they were in handcuffs while making his plea.

“I told him what we are doing would have consequences, and not good consequences,” he recalled as Mr. Stanford took notes and shook his head in denial. “Mr. Stanford would just laugh, and he would say, ‘I will just blame it all on you.’ ”

And that is just about what is happening as the Texas financier once thought to be worth over $2 billion stands trial on multiple charges of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, with Mr. Davis already indicted and serving as the lead prosecution witness.

It was just the beginning of what court officers and lawyers involved in the case believe will be four or five days of an emotional locking of horns between the two men most responsible for running an offshore bank on the island of Antigua that prosecutors say fleeced nearly 30,000 investors of $7 billion in investments.

In his first day on the stand, Mr. Davis described how Mr. Stanford had fraudulently made up insurance coverage to lure investors and had taken a blood oath with senior Antiguan bank regulators who would overlook his misdeeds and profit from them. He also testified how Mr. Stanford had lavished loans and campaign contributions on Antiguan political leaders, and how the cash reserves of the Stanford offshore bank disappeared over the years in money-losing businesses and loans to Mr. Stanford until nothing was left by 2009.

Throughout his testimony, Mr. Davis described a relationship with Mr. Stanford in which he was emotionally bullied to lie and cheat investors, and to keep his secrets from everyone, including his wife.

“Yes, I did lie,” Mr. Davis said, fighting back tears. “I wanted to please Mr. Stanford. I was proud. I was a coward. Later on I was greedy, regrettably.”

Perhaps no man except Mr. Stanford himself knew more about the operations of Mr. Stanford’s empire — which included real estate, restaurants, two airlines and even a cricket team and stadium — than Mr. Davis. Soon after the enterprises collapsed three years ago, Mr. Davis was indicted and pleaded guilty to several counts of fraud and conspiracy to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. He faces up to 30 years in jail.

The lawyers for Mr. Stanford, in their opening argument to the jury and in cross-examinations of witnesses over the last two weeks, have tried to build a case that Mr. Davis, not Mr. Stanford, would have been at the center of any shady financial dealings, which centered on sales of supposedly safe, high-interest certificates of deposit. But the money, according to the prosecution, went to risky investments, loans to Mr. Stanford and bribes from a Swiss bank to Antiguan officials.

Mr. Davis described Mr. Stanford as a cagey, manipulative dictator who was quick to compliment but even quicker to lash out in anger. Mr. Davis described how he rearranged the offices of some employees when Mr. Stanford was away from the office for several weeks and did not return messages.

When Mr. Stanford returned from his travels, he entered Mr. Davis’s office and screamed, “ ‘I thought I was C.E.O. around here’ and then slammed the door,” Mr. Davis testified. “He didn’t speak to me for three months.”

Another time, Mr. Davis recalled, Mr. Stanford asked him to take a drive in his new Mercedes-Benz on the Katy Freeway outside Houston. Mr. Stanford floored the accelerator until the car reached 170 miles an hour. “He scared me to death,” Mr. Davis said. “He instilled intimidation and fear.”

Mr. Stanford’s lawyers have argued that while Mr. Stanford was the chief strategist and marketing guru, Mr. Davis invested the money and handled the paperwork. He not only worked apart for years from Mr. Stanford, from an office in Memphis, but he also hired many investment executives, including his own trusted family members.

In his introductory arguments, Robert A. Scardino, one of Mr. Stanford’s lawyers, called Mr. Davis a “liar and a crook and yet these prosecutors are going to ask you to believe him.”

Mr. Davis differed with that characterization. “Everyone reported to Mr. Stanford,” he testified.

“In a charismatic way, he managed by flattery, fear, intimidation. He said it was better to be feared as a manager than be loved,” Mr. Davis testified.

Mr. Stanford has pleaded not guilty to all 14 counts of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. His lawyers say he will testify, but because Mr. Stanford has said that his memory was shattered by the blows he sustained two years ago in a prison fight, it is unclear what he will say about Mr. Davis.

Mr. Davis began working for Mr. Stanford in 1988 and, he testified, from the start there were secrets. Mr. Davis said he was told not to speak to Mr. Stanford’s father, James, who was a junior partner in the bank, without first talking to him. Mr. Stanford also explained that the bank, the Guardian International Bank, had been founded offshore rather than in the United States, saying, according to Mr. Davis, that “he did not feel he could go through that rigorous regulatory vetting.”

For years, Mr. Davis testified, he was suspicious of fraud, but he was not certain until 1991, when Mr. Stanford ordered him to fly to London merely to fax to a prospective investor a fake confirmation from a shell insurance company Mr. Stanford had concocted. When Mr. Davis went to the office, it was nothing but a desk, a chair and a fax machine in an office cubicle. Mr. Davis flew back to Houston as soon as he sent the fax, he said.

When Mr. Davis questioned Mr. Stanford about the scheme, Mr. Davis said, his boss “said this was really a marketing device” and that paying “premiums would be a waste of money.”

When asked repeatedly by the prosecution why he had continued to work for Mr. Stanford after the episode, Mr. Davis replied, “I was a coward. I was embarrassed and he signed my paycheck.”

Mr. Davis said he had been paid handsomely and estimated that he made $14 million over the years in salary, with additional bonuses and loans of $850,000 in 2008 and 2009.

Tieless, and dressed in a gray suit and white shirt, Mr. Stanford took notes through much of Mr. Davis’s testimony. He frequently shook his head in disbelief and even laughed softly.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Jury selection begins in Stanford fraud trial

January 23, 2012

The Associated Press on January 23, 2012 released the following:

“By JUAN A. LOZANO
Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Jury selection has begun in the oft-delayed trial of jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, who is accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion in a vast Ponzi scheme.

A federal court judge in Houston is expected to spend Monday questioning prospective jurors. Opening arguments are expected to start Tuesday.

Stanford’s attorneys have said they expect him to testify.

Stanford was indicted more than 2 1/2 years ago but his trial was delayed while he was treated at a prison hospital for an addiction to an anti-anxiety drug.

Prosecutors say Stanford funded a lavish lifestyle with the money of depositors. His financial empire stretched from the U.S. to Latin American and the Caribbean.

He denies wrongdoing.”

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Stanford Seeks to Delay Trial After Defense Expert Witnesses Quit Over Pay

January 3, 2012

Bloomberg on January 2, 2012 released the following:

“By Laurel Brubaker Calkins

R. Allen Stanford, accused of running a $7 billion investment fraud, asked for a three-month delay in his trial set for Jan. 23 after his expert witnesses quit over not being paid, according to court filings.

Stanford’s experts haven’t been paid for four months, Ali Fazel, Stanford’s lead criminal-defense lawyer, said in court papers filed Dec. 30 in federal court in Houston. They quit last week after the U.S. Court of Appeals, which controls budgets for Stanford’s publicly funded defense, ruled that it will “modify and limit the expert budget moving forward” and withhold payments to them until after the trial, Fazel said.

Stanford, 61, has been in custody since he was indicted in June 2009 on charges of defrauding investors through bogus certificates of deposit at his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.

Stanford was declared mentally fit for trial on Dec. 22, after completing eight months of rehabilitation at a federal prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina. U.S. District Judge David Hittner found the former financier had sufficiently recovered from head injuries suffered in a September 2009 jailhouse assault and an addiction to anxiety drugs prescribed by prison doctors following the attack.

Fazel said in the Dec. 30 filings that prosecutors don’t oppose a one-week delay in tomorrow’s deadline for filing expert reports in the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Costa told Hittner last month that the government doesn’t oppose a delay of six to eight weeks in Stanford’s trial to give him more time to review documents with his attorneys.

Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment today on the request for a three-month delay, citing a gag order issued by the judge.

The case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09-cr-00342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).”

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Judge rules Stanford competent to stand trial

December 22, 2011

Associated Press on December 22, 2011 released the following:

“By JUAN A. LOZANO
Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford is mentally competent to stand trial on charges he bilked investors out of $7 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme, a judge ruled Thursday

U.S. District Judge David Hittner’s decision came after a nearly three-day competency hearing for the disgraced financier. The trial is set for Jan. 23. Hittner said he will rule next week on a request from Stanford’s attorneys to delay the trial until April.

“We’re disappointed. We hope he gets healthy,” Ali Fazel, one of Stanford’s attorneys said after the ruling.

Prosecutors declined to comment. A gag order is preventing attorneys from discussing the case.

Stanford had been declared incompetent in January due to an anti-anxiety drug addiction he developed while jailed in Houston. He spent more than eight months at a federal prison hospital in Butner, N.C., getting treatment for his addiction and being evaluated to determine if he had any long-term effects from being injured in a September 2009 jail fight.

A forensic psychologist who helped treat Stanford at the prison hospital testified the financier is now competent, can think clearly after being taken off the drug and has not suffered brain damage from the jail fight.

Doctors at the prison hospital and prosecutors accused Stanford of faking symptoms of amnesia. He says he can’t remember all events in his life prior to the prison fight.

During closing arguments after testimony in the hearing had concluded earlier Thursday, prosecutor Gregg Costa said Stanford was exaggerating or faking memory loss and 14 other disorders the financier’s medical experts had diagnosed him with in an attempt to “game the system” and avoid trial for a $7 billion fraud.

“He wants to con his way out of this case the same way he conned investors for 20 years. Your honor, don’t let him con his way out of this case,” Costa said.

But four medical experts who testified on Stanford’s behalf, including a neurologist and two forensic psychiatrists, said the financier suffered a traumatic brain injury in the jail fight that left him with severe memory loss and unable to think or communicate clearly.

“Every expert that has seen him says there is something wrong with him,” Fazel said during closing arguments. “He wants to fight the case. He just wants to be able to help his lawyers. He is not running away from anything.”

Stanford’s medical experts said his brain injury, along with a major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder from the jail fight, has left him unable to assist his defense attorneys and to be ready for trial.

Those experts also testified that his treatment for other medical conditions, including heart and liver problems, complicated his brain injury and memory loss.

Stanford and three former executives of his now-defunct Stanford Financial Group are accused of orchestrating a colossal pyramid scheme that advised clients from 113 countries to invest more than $7 billion in certificates of deposit, or CDs, at the Stanford International Bank on the Caribbean island of Antigua, promising huge returns.

Authorities say Stanford and the executives fabricated the bank’s records, bribed Antiguan regulators with investors’ money from a secret Swiss bank account and misused funds to pay for Stanford’s lavish lifestyle.

Stanford became a billionaire whose financial empire stretched across the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. His attorneys say he ran a legitimate business. He has been jailed since he was indicted in June 2009 by a federal grand jury in Houston, where his companies were headquartered.

He faces 14 counts, including wire and mail fraud.

Earlier Thursday, a prison official at the Houston federal detention center, where Stanford is being held, told Hittner doctors at the facility had become concerned Stanford might be suicidal after one of the financier’s medical experts had testified about such concerns.

The official said doctors examined Stanford Wednesday evening and determined he is not suicidal but will continue to evaluate him.”
————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Judge Weighs Competency of Alleged Ponzi Scheme Defendant

December 21, 2011

The New York Times on December 20, 2011 released the following:

By REUTERS

“A prison psychologist who evaluated the financier R. Allen Stanford testified on Tuesday that it would be “incredibly rare” for a patient to suffer from the type of delayed memory loss that Mr. Stanford’s lawyers say makes him incompetent to stand trial.

Lawyers for Mr. Stanford, who is accused of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, have argued that he is incompetent because of an addiction to antianxiety medication and a brain injury suffered in a 2009 jailhouse fight with another inmate.

Mr. Stanford claims he suffers from retrograde amnesia, which prevents him from recalling critical events from his life before the fight. His lawyers plan to call several medical experts to testify about his condition.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, say that Mr. Stanford may have faked memory loss and that there is no evidence to support his claims. They want his trial to proceed as scheduled on Jan. 23. The prison psychologist testified for the government at the start of a mental competency hearing in Houston that will decide if Mr. Stanford’s criminal trial can go forward next month.

The amnesia that Mr. Stanford has described “is incredibly rare. There is hardly any documented medical research,” Dr. Robert Cochrane, the staff psychologist at a federal prison in North Carolina who evaluated Mr. Stanford, testified at the start of a hearing on Tuesday in United States District Court in Houston.

The financier, who once owned luxury homes in the Caribbean, Houston and Miami, has been indicted on charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty.

In November, Mr. Stanford completed more than eight months of treatment at the Butner prison hospital in North Carolina.

United States District Judge David Hittner, who is overseeing the competency hearing, ruled at the start of the proceedings that only medical and mental health professionals could testify.”

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.