Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

U.S. appeals court says Stanford must stay in jail

A U.S. appeals court denied for the second time a bid by accused swindler Allen Stanford to be released from jail pending trial.

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said in a ruling on Wednesday that Stanford's lawyers presented "no new circumstances" in their second effort to win his release.

His lawyers argued that because of his declining mental and physical health, Stanford's friends and family had offered to hire armed off-duty peace officers to guard him to ensure that he would appear in court.

"We're disappointed, but based on the way this case has gone, we are not surprised," Kent Schaffer, Stanford's criminal defense attorney said.

Stanford's legal team is mulling an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Schaffer said.

Stanford, 59, was first deemed a flight risk by U.S. District Judge David Hittner in June 2009. His trial is set for January 2011.

During his time in jail, Stanford has been hospitalized at least two times, for a rapid heartbeat and for injuries he sustained in a fight with another prisoner. He has also lost a considerable amount of weight.

The Texas financier, who has denied any wrongdoing, faces civil and criminal charges related to a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors allege that Stanford sold fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua, and used those proceeds to bankroll a lavish lifestyle that included private jets, a yacht and luxury homes.

In another development, lawyers who represent Stanford in civil fraud case said they plan to file a motion asking that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's complaint against the former billionaire be dismissed.

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