Financier Allen Stanford will remain in a Texas jail at least until Monday as a federal judge reconsiders his $500,000 bond at the urging of prosecutors who say the accused swindler is a flight risk, according to a ruling on Friday.
Stanford, who faces criminal charges for a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, arrived at the courthouse early on Friday dressed in a suit and ready to walk free after a magistrate judge set the terms of his release following a lengthy hearing on Thursday.
But federal prosecutors, who believe the billionaire is a serious flight risk, asked that Stanford's bail approval be postponed until U.S. District Judge David Hittner reviewed the matter.
Judge Hittner ordered that Stanford be held in custody at least until a hearing on Monday at 1030 CDT (11:30 a.m. EDT), where he will consider whether the magistrate's release order should be revoked.
Dick DeGuerin, Stanford's attorney, could not immediately be reached for comment on the ruling.
But in court papers filed on Friday, Stanford's lawyers argued the government was over-exaggerating any risk of flight and noted Stanford has already demonstrated his willingness to answer the criminal charges with three offers of surrender.
On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy said Stanford may leave federal custody, provided he comes up with $100,000 for a cash bond, lives with his girlfriend in a Houston high-rise apartment and wears a tracking device.
Stanford, 59, pleaded not guilty to a 21-count indictment on Thursday. He has been locked up since last week when he surrendered to federal agents in Virginia.
Stanford, who appeared at Thursday's hearing in a prison-issued orange jumpsuit, was led into the courthouse by U.S. Marshals on Friday morning still shackled but smiling.
And even at his detention hearing on Thursday, the flamboyant sports patron seemed very relaxed, smiling frequently at his supporters, including his parents, estranged wife, two former girlfriends, his current girlfriend and at least four of his six children.
Paul Pelletier, a federal prosecutor, argued at the detention hearing that Stanford has the motive to flee because if convicted, he faces life in prison.
Stanford also has a network of wealthy acquaintances to tap for financial support and he may have access to large sums of money that the government has not been able to locate, prosecutors said.
Stanford and five others were charged last week with fraud, conspiracy and obstruction.
A 21-count indictment lays out a scheme where Stanford and others falsified records and bribed regulators who had oversight of Stanford's offshore bank in Antigua, bilking the bank's certificate of deposit customers out of $7 billion.
(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, editing by Dave Zimmerman, Matthew Lewis and Carol Bishopric)