A Texas jury found Allen Stanford, Texan financier, multi-billionaire and cricket mogul, guilty of $7 billion fraud Tuesday. A Houston court found the 61-year-old businessman guilty on 13 of 14 counts including conspiracy to defraud investors. A sentencing hearing won't be held for months, leaving Stanford to sit in jail as he has since 2009, when he was arrested for operating one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. He could face 20 years in prison. Ali Fazel, Stanford's attorney, says his client could still appeal the ruling.
Defrauded investors hope to reclaim more than $300 million in funds from 30 accounts Stanford holds in countries like Britain, Canada and Switzerland. As the ruling came in, investors duped by Stanford expressed relief over the ruling, but commented that the guilty verdict would not restore defrauded funds any faster, the AP reported. A civil case, heard by the same jury that convicted Stanford on Tuesday, will hear the trial to reclaim the wayward funds, beginning Wednesday.
Prosecutors presented final arguments in the trial Thursday, March 1, arguing Stanford lied to investors about the security of their investments in accounts held in Antigua. The Caribbean island nation stripped Stanford of the knighthood to him of 2006. Stanford at one time entretained politicians on there, where he owned a newspaper and a restaurant, The Daily Beast reported. ESPNcricinfo reported that, in the hope of battling a rising Indian cricket league, the English and Wales Cricket Board profited heavily from Allen's lawbreaking.
In an unrelated but similar case, Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for similar crimes.