|Former Houston billionaire Allen Stanford, |
convicted in 2012 of operating a Ponzi scheme
that defrauded more than 18,000 investors, is
appealing his conviction. He's currently serving
a 110-year sentence. File photo.
WASHINGTON — The appeals court that will hear former Houston billionaire Allen Stanford’s appeal has sent him a blunt warning. Keep breaking the rules when it comes to filing your appeal, and he may lose his chance to be heard at all.
That’s the message sent last week when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans wrote Stanford a letter telling him that the court has filed his latest brief arguing that his 2012 conviction was illegal. “However, you must make the following corrections within the next 14 days,” an Oct. 23 letter from the court to Stanford reads.
Adds the court clerk: “As this is the second request to make your brief sufficient, any further insufficiencies received may move the court to strike your brief and dismiss your appeal.”
Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison, and is serving his term in central Florida. He has fired his lawyers and is representing himself. He filed a 299-page appeal in September, which the court promptly rejected as too long. He was given to Oct. 6, and then an extension to Oct. 22, to make it conform to the already-relaxed guidelines stipulated by the court.
He made the deadline, but still wasn’t following the rules. He’s now been ordered to strip out all of the attachments he has sent that aren’t “opinions, statutes, rules, and regulations.” He’ll also have to get three more copies of the brief made.
Stanford’s new brief is 174 pages, including exhibits and other appendices. His initial brief was 299 pages.
Murray Waas of Vice Media and I reviewed the contents of his initial arguments here. He has until Nov. 6 to make the requested changes. The U.S. government will respond to the brief with an argument of their own for why he’s right where he belongs, before three judges on the 5th Circuit will make a ruling.
Allen Stanford's Revised Appeal can be read here: