The trial of Allen Stanford, the Texas businessman accused of orchestrating a $7 billion ponzi scheme spread over a decade, is to start on Monday, January 23, in Houston.
Stanford is accused of defrauding more than 20,000 people through allegedly bogus certificates of deposit at Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. Prosecutors have accused Stanford of skimming more than $1 billion in investor deposits to fund a lavish lifestyle, which included yachts, a fleet of jets, cricket teams and a private Caribbean island.
Stanford, the largest private landowner in Antigua, was knighted by the island's former Prime Minister. However, he has been in prison since he was arrested in 2009, following fears he was a flight risk.
Stanford's lawyers have stated they will use thousands of bank and business records to show jurors the financier never intended to defraud anyone. They claim no investor lost money until the government stepped in and seized the businesses, destroying their value.
In 2009, while in prison, he suffered broken facial bones after being beaten by another inmate. He subsequently became addicted to anti-anxiety medications prescribed by prison doctors. Stanford's lawyers have claimed family members had to educate him about his previous life and said he was completely amnestic to his life prior to the assault. The prosecutors have suggested he is faking and said there is no evidence of a brain injury.