According to the Dallas Business Journal – U.S. District Judge David Hittner has decreed that Stanford’s trial on charges that he led a $7 billion fraud scheme would begin in January 2011.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, on February 17, 2009, charged Robert Allen Stanford and three of his companies for orchestrating a fraudulent, multi-billion dollar investment scheme centering on an $8 billion CD program.
“As we allege in our complaint, Stanford and the close circle of family and friends with whom he runs his businesses perpetrated a massive fraud based on false promises and fabricated historical return data to prey on investors,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “We are moving quickly and decisively in this enforcement action to stop this fraudulent conduct and preserve assets for investors.”
Rose Romero, Regional Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office, added, “We are alleging a fraud of shocking magnitude that has spread its tentacles throughout the world.”
Stanford’s lawyer, Kent Schaffer, had asked Judge Hittner not to schedule the trial until the summer of 2011. If defense lawyers must prepare the case without funding from Stanford’s insurance policies, Schaffer reportedly said it could take as long as two and a half years to get ready for trial. Meanwhile, according to documents filed with the Texas Workforce Commission confirmed earlier this year Stanford closed its facilities and effectively had to dismiss 1,022 employees across the United States. About 297 workers in Houston, the headquarters of Stanford Financial Group, lost their jobs.
Bernie Madoff knew that he was toast in December of ’08 when he admitted that the financial empire that he build was built based on fraud. While he did wrong, at least he knew when to admit his guilt. He saved the taxpayers millions by avoiding a long protracted trial. In less than a year Madoff knew his fate – the rest of his life in prison.
Stanford – well he is still attempting to prove his innocence. And, while in this country you are innocent until proven guilty, the bulk of the evidence suggests that Sir Allen Stanford will likely face a similar fate to that of Bernie. I suspect that Stanford will, too, face the rest of his life in prison. As a business ethics speaker I have to say, I at least respect that Madoff accepted his fate instead of making the process a circus.
DO YOU THINK THAT STANFORD IS RIGHT IN TRYING TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE OR SHOULD HE PLEAD GUILTY AND MOVE ON? Your comments are welcome.