Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in prison

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PHILIPSBURG - Allen Stanford, the former Texas billionaire convicted of an $7 billion Ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 110 years in prison by a U.S. federal judge on Thursday.

Stanford, who was convicted of 13 felony counts of fraud and conspiracy and obstruction by a Houston jury in March, used fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua to bilk thousands of investors out of their savings.

In sentencing Stanford, U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who presided over his six-week trial earlier this year, called Stanford's actions one of the most "egregious criminal frauds."

The 110-year sentence compared with 150 years handed down to Bernard Madoff, who pleaded guilty in March 2009 to running a Ponzi scheme.

Speaking before his sentencing on Thursday, Stanford denied defrauding anyone and blamed the U.S. government for ruining his business by seizing his assets. "They destroyed it and turned it to nothing," he said. "Stanford was a real brick-and-mortar global financial empire."

Prosecutors had asked for a 230-year sentence, arguing in court papers that Stanford's crime was "one of the most egregious frauds in history."

Stanford's attorneys had asked for a sentence of about three years, or the same amount of time the 62-year-old has been in federal custody.

Last modified on Sunday, 17 June 2012 22:54
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