March 7, 2012- On Tuesday, R. Allen Stanford was found guilty be a federal jury on all by one of 14 counts of fraud. The Texas financier operated a scheme worldwide that was in operation for more than 20 years and took in over $7 billion of investor’s money.
Stanford sat silently when the verdict was read, barely moving his head downward while shutting his eyes. At the same time, his mother, other members of his family and friends wept. Investors who had lost their investments in his scheme also cried and at the same time expressed relief. Stanford could receive a life sentence for the conviction.
The jury came to their decision following a trial of six weeks. The verdict came over three years since Stanford was first accused of defrauding close to 30,000 investors in his Ponzi scheme that stretched to 113 countries. The scheme involved more than $7 billion of fraudulent certificates of deposit held at Stanford International Bank based on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean.
The prosecutor’s case relied heavily on Stanford’s friend from college and Chief Financial Officer James Davis. Davis gave testimony that the entire business empire Stanford created was a fraud, including the bribing of regulators in Antigua. Davis once said Stanford sent him to England to fax a possible client a prospectus to reassure him that any investment he made would be secure.