Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford, ahora disponible en español en:

http://victimasolvidadasdestanford.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stanford again seeks bail

A psychiatrist who examined R. Allen Stanford believes he is in danger of suffering “a complete nervous breakdown” if he is not released from prison on bail and allowed to properly prepare for his scheduled criminal trial, according to court documents.

In documents asking that the jailed businessman be released on bail, attorneys argue Stanford's deteriorating mental and physical health, combined with the difficulty of seeing his attorneys while at the downtown Houston Federal Detention Center, make it impossible for him to properly prepare for trial.

The court documents include letters from more than two dozen family and friends who say Stanford would not flee if released. “I can guarantee you that my dad will go nowhere if released on bail,” one of his sons wrote. “He knows that running would get him nowhere, it would only make things worse.”

Stanford has been in federal custody since June 18, shortly after a Houston grand jury indicted him and others accused of cheating investors who bought certificates of deposit from his bank on the Caribbean island of Antigua. He faces 21 counts of conspiracy, fraud, bribery and obstruction of justice.

After his arrest in Virginia Stanford was brought to Houston, where a magistrate court judge ruled on June 25 he could remain free if he posted $500,000 bail and wore a tracking device.

But before the release paperwork was completed the government appealed the order to U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner, who ruled that Stanford is a flight risk and ordered he remain in custody.

Prosecutors have not yet responded to the new request for bail.

In the weeks after his arrest, while held at the Joe Corley Detention Center in Conroe, Stanford was hospitalized repeatedly for heart problems and for treatment following a beating from a fellow inmate. He was transferred to the downtown detention center on Sept. 29.

The physical and mental strains of imprisonment have taken a heavy toll on Stanford, according to court filings: He has lost 40 pounds in the last 90 days, and has been prescribed medications for elevated and irregular heartbeats, ulcers and depression.

Victor Scarano, a Houston psychiatrist and lawyer who examined Stanford in jail, concludes that his “physical and mental state is continuing to deteriorate” and he is suffering “major depression.”

“If the present set of circumstances persist, Mr. Stanford's spiraling downhill course will continue to the point where he will suffer further serious physical disorders and, more likely than not, a complete nervous breakdown,” Scarano says, according to the court documents.

Scarano doubts that anti-depressants would be enough to treat the condition but giving Stanford the freedom “to work with his attorneys in creating a strong and formidable defenses, is the treatment that will do the most to enhance his physical and mental recovery,” according to the filing.

It says the limited visiting hours and security measures at the detention center make it “sheer sophistry” to assume Stanford would be able to review even a fraction of the more than 7 million documents involved in the case to prepare for his trial, now scheduled for January 2011.

Attorneys argue that there are other ways than incarceration for assuring Stanford will not flee, including putting him in home confinement with an armed guard, a measure his lawyers say New York federal courts have used successfully.

Stanford's defense team notes several cases where wealthy, well-traveled individuals accused of massive white collar fraud have been allowed to remain free on bail with few restrictions. They include Bernard Madoff, who later pleaded guilty in a massive Ponzi scheme and is serving prison time, and hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, accused of insider trading, who remains out on bail.

Attorneys included dozens of letters from Stanford's family and friends pleading with Judge Hittner to free Stanford pending trial. The letter writers include his parents, fiancé, and five of his six children.

His son Robert A. Stanford Jr. wrote that his father taught him to “never run away” from a problem.

“My dad won't back down from this case until he finally proves to the world that he is not guilty,” the younger Stanford wrote.

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