Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stanford to remain jailed until Jan. trial

Jailed Texas promoter Robert Allen Stanford will remain in custody until his January trial on charges he masterminded more than $7 billion in frauds against investors in Louisiana and around the world, an appellate panel has ruled.

Stanford, 60, is in a federal detention center in Houston and has been incarcerated since his indictment in June.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — Carl E. Stewart, of Shreveport, Carolyn Dineen King, of Houston, and Catharina Haynes, of Dallas — on Tuesday rejected Stanford’s request for release on bond.

Stanford could ask for a rehearing before the full, or en banc, 17-member appellate court in New Orleans.

Kent A. Schaffer, one of Stanford’s two Houston attorneys, ruled out that option Wednesday.

“We are not seeking rehearing en banc,” Schaffer said. “Our experience is that it is relatively pointless to do so when there is a unanimous panel opinion.”

When asked whether Stanford could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Schaffer replied: “Our efforts are now pointed toward preparing this case for trial.”

About 1,000 investors in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Covington areas lost as much as $1 billion to Stanford International Bank, Baton Rouge attorney Phillip W. Preis and state Rep. Bodi White, R-Central, have estimated.

As many as 30,000 investors in more than 100 countries also lost savings to Stanford’s bank on the Caribbean island of Antigua, the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors have stated in court records.

Stanford’s former chief financial officer, 61-year-old James M. Davis, of Baldwyn, Miss., has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges in the case. Davis also has agreed to testify against Stanford and other defendants.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner of Houston ruled in June that no condition of release could guarantee Stanford would return for trial.

After a 5th Circuit panel upheld Hittner’s decision last year, Stanford asked Hittner to reconsider the issue.

Hittner, who earlier noted that more than $1 billion of Stanford’s money had not been accounted for, refused to reconsider.

King, Stewart and Haynes upheld Hittner’s decision Tuesday, ruling “the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Stanford’s motion.”

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