Las víctimas olvidadas de Stanford ahora disponible en español

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

http://victimasolvidadasdestanford.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 30, 2012

Inside Stanford’s Ponzi puzzle palace

By STEVE MCVICKER

After an opening week of testimony marked by talk of peanut butter sandwiches and mac and cheese, the Ponzi scheme trial of disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford shifts into high gear this week.

Uncle Sam’s key witness, James Davis, the former chief financial officer at Stanford’s firm — and a former college roommate of the alleged fraudster — is scheduled to take the stand and tell jurors just how the massive fraud was carried out.

Stanford’s alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme, the largest such scam after Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion fraud, robbed more than 30,000 people from 113 countries, according to prosecutors.

The 14-count indictment, which carries a prison term of up to 20 years, claims the financier, through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, lured investors in with high interest rates on CDs.

Prosecutors claim Stanford didn’t buy the CDs but instead used investors’ cash to fuel a lavish lifestyle. Stanford has denied the charges.

Last week, jurors heard one fleeced investor, 69-year-old retiree Joseph Flynn, testify that he lost his entire life’s savings, some $1.6 million, which he had invested in Stanford bank CDs.

Flynn also told the jury he gets by these days by selling his possessions on eBay and by eating lots of mac and cheese.

Flynn wasn’t the only person in the courtroom to discuss a hard-times menu. Stanford’s legal team complained to Judge David Hittner about the peanut butter sandwiches served up by the federal courthouse kitchen.

The lunches were not providing Stanford with enough energy to allow him to participate in his defense, they claimed.

After they raised the issue a couple of times, it was dropped and the courthouse menu is now apparently more to Stanford’s liking.

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