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Friday, February 18, 2011

Allen Stanford — Incompetent to Stand Trial, Competent to Sue US Government

Source: Walter Pavlo (forbes)

Allen Stanford was recently transferred (en route) to Butner federal prison after a judge ruled that he was not competent to stand trail. This ruling was made after evidence was put forward that Stanford was deeply depressed, was addicted to anti-depressants and had suffered trauma from a beating by another inmate in prison. Clearly, life is not good for Allen Stanford these days.

Now comes news that Stanford is suing the U.S. government for $7.2 billion accusing federal prosecutors and regulators of depriving him of his constitutional rights. That’s an aggressive action for a guy who was ruled not competent to stand trial. The earlier ruling by the judge indicated that Stanford was not able to help in mounting a defense since but it seems that he is able to mount an OFFENSE. Stanford’s defense is being paid for with taxpayer dollars since being declared indigent by the same judge that deemed him incompetent to stand trial. So Stanford is now suing the same entity (the U.S. government) that is footing the bill for his defense. Confused? I am.

I guess Stanford is not going anywhere quickly but while this delay goes on there are many victims, or investors if Stanford is found innocent, waiting. All of Stanford’s assets have been frozen but the trial would provide a way to distribute those funds. With Madoff’s scheme, an early guilty verdict provided a way for the government to move in, recover and begin distributing stolen assets. With Stanford, we’re still awaiting a plea or a trial to figure out what went on.

There is no clear time frame for when Stanford will be competent to stand trial….but my guess is that this is going to take a while.

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