Financier Allen Stanford denies fraud as trial begins
Published: 25th Jan 2012 00:30:21
A Texas financier has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of fraud and money laundering on the first day of his trial in Houston, Texas.
Allen Stanford is accused of defrauding investors of $7bn (£4.5bn) through a Ponzi scheme out of his bank in the Caribbean island of Antigua.
But his defence team says that the 61-year-old never intended to defraud anyone.
If convicted, Mr Stanford could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
It is alleged that Mr Stanford used his investors' funds to fuel an extravagant lifestyle that included owning houses and yachts, and sponsoring cricket matches.
Prosecutors say Stanford International Bank used the money raised from selling fraudulent certificates of deposit to pay off maturing contracts, and to support Mr Stanford's other business ventures.
Among them were other banks, a brokerage that sold the certificates of deposit, an airline, cricket grounds and restaurants.
Prosecutors also say that Mr Stanford, as well as three of his former executives, fabricated company documents and bribed officials in Antigua to cover up their illegal activities.
But Mr Stanford, who once had an estimated net worth of more than $2bn, argues that his businesses were legal.
His defence lawyers - the fifth legal team to represent him since he was indicted - say that Mr Stanford's investors would have been paid if his companies had not been seized by the authorities.
They say investors only lost their money once the US government seized his businesses, destroying their value.
Mr Stanford's lawyers also argue that he's developed severe amnesia after being assaulted in prison and can't remember the details of his former life.
He has been held in custody for two and a half years because of fears he would attempt to flee. The trial is expected to last around six weeks.
Three other former executives are also awaiting trial in Antigua and face charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission in Dallas, Texas.
Mr Stanford once landed in a helicopter at Lord's cricket ground in London and secured a lucrative series of matches between the England team and his Stanford superstars.
At 02:56:02 in ScotlandTwo major curling competitions are under way in Dumfries just a couple of months after Scottish competitors scooped medals at the Winter Olympics.
At 02:54:55 in ScotlandParts of a fast reactor control room at Dounreay in Caithness look set to be dismantled and rebuilt at the Science Museum in London.
At 02:47:22 in ScotlandA new service of flights between Edinburgh and Stavanger has begun operation, it has been announced.
At 02:45:05 in ScotlandMajor restrictions on traffic and parking are to be introduced in Glasgow during the summer Commonwealth Games.
At 02:45:05 in WorldThe number of people who have contracted the Ebola virus in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization, has risen to 208 - and 136 of them have died. About half of these cases have been confirmed in a laboratory - earlier cases were not tested.
At 02:42:42 in ScotlandScottish councils have too little power and are too distant from the communities they serve, according to a report.
At 02:40:04 in WorldOne of the hallmarks of the Afghan presidential election has been the prominent role of young voters and activists.
At 02:35:58 in ScotlandSkills shortages are threatening the pace of recovery of Scotland's construction industry, according to a survey.
At 02:35:01 in BusinessShares in Qualcomm, one of the world's biggest chipmakers, fell 5% in after hours trading as it issued a weaker than expected growth outlook.
At 02:34:47 in ScotlandAn independent Scotland would have to fund pension costs of an additional £450 per working-age adult each year, the UK government has claimed.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Financier Allen Stanford denies fraud as trial begins [Online] (Updated 25th Jan 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/220522/Financier-Allen-Stanford-denies-fraud-as-trial-begins [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
An independent Scotland would have to fund pension costs of an additional £450 per working-age adult each year, the UK government has claimed.
The number of people who have contracted the Ebola virus in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization, has risen to 208 - and 136 of them have died. About half of these cases have been confirmed in a laboratory - earlier cases were not tested.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Griff Rhys Jones has withdrawn from becoming Cardiff University's new chancellor just two weeks after an embarrassing debacle which saw his appointment halted at the last minute.