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June 14, 2012

Will feds seek to (cross)appeal Stanford's sentence of "only" 110 years in prison?

The question in the title of this post is my tongue-in-cheek response to this news (via this article) that " R. Allen Stanford, the Texas financier convicted of fleecing 30,000 investors from 113 countries in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, was sentenced on Thursday to 110 years in jail." Here is more on the sentencing:

A defiant Mr. Stanford, in a rambling statement to the court before the sentencing, intermittently fought back tears and shuffled papers, and said, “I’m not up here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness. I’m up here to tell you from my heart I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme.” He blamed the government for the collapse of his businesses and asserted that “we could have paid off every depositor and still have substantial assets remaining.”

In response, federal prosecutor, William J. Stellmach, called Mr. Stanford’s version of events “obscene.”

“This is a man utterly without remorse,” Mr. Stellmach said. “From beginning to end, he treated all of his victims as roadkill. He went after the middle class, including people who didn’t have money to lose. People have lost their homes. They have come out of retirement.”

A federal jury in March convicted Mr. Stanford of 13 out of 14 counts of fraud in connection with a worldwide scheme over more than two decades in which he offered fraudulent high-interest certificates of deposit at the Stanford International Bank, which was based on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Prosecutors argued that Mr. Stanford had consistently lied to investors, promoting safe investments for money that he channeled into a luxurious lifestyle, a Swiss bank account and various business deals that almost never succeeded.

Mr. Stanford’s defense lawyers pleaded for a sentence effectively of time served because of the three years he spent in prison waiting for his trial.  Prosecutors recommended 230 years....

As regularreaders know, the feds are not usually too pleased when a district judges imposes a sentence less than half of what prosecutors have sought.  In this case, though, I predict confidently that only Mr. Stanford will be appealing.  I also predict the Fifth Circuit is unlikely to be moved by any sentencing appeal.

June 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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I agree with Doug's prediction: the Feds won't appeal; Stanford will do so, but unsuccessfully.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Jun 14, 2012 4:00:42 PM

Stick a fork in him, he's done! Like Bernie Madoff (150 years), he will die in Federal prison. But the longest ever Federal white collar sentence is still being served by the little-known Sholam Weiss, who was sentenced in 2000 to serve 845 years.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Jun 14, 2012 4:20:47 PM

Say we agree an average life is worth $6 million, according to market price calculation, rather than salary calculation. Anyone who has destroyed more than that amount has destroyed the product of an economic lifespan.

Everyone who has done so in a crime, has murdered an economic life, and should be executed.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 14, 2012 9:47:43 PM

The idiocy of the lawyer is appalling. Even people with mental retardation would know it is a waste of time to demand a 230 year sentence. Law school has mentally crippled so many bright young people. Tragic.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 14, 2012 9:49:34 PM

Execution for economic crimes?

Whatever happened to "never give a sucker an even break"?

Folks who persist in investing in deals that seem too good to be true aren't murder victims. They're suicides.

Posted by: John K | Jun 15, 2012 9:06:13 AM

John K --

Unless you believe in predation, "suckers" are no less deserving of honest treatment than anyone else, and those who make a fortune from deceiving them assume the risk that they'll be found out and punished. If they want to avoid this, they might consider conducting their affairs by being forthcoming and honest.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 15, 2012 10:11:57 AM

Nice bill!

But there is one Major problem with this statement of yours!

"If they want to avoid this, they might consider conducting their affairs by being forthcoming and honest."

You would put 99.99999999999999999% of every politician in the country OUT OF WORK!

not to mention 97.9999999999999% of all media members!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 15, 2012 10:57:55 AM

rodsmith --

Well they'd just have a jolly old time standing in the unemployment line along with the rest of the population -- oh, wait, I must have gotten that wrong, since our President has assured us that the private sector is "doing fine."

And so it is. On Pluto.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 15, 2012 3:24:48 PM

LOL got to give you that one. he list the rest of them are living somewhere DEEP in the twilight zone!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 16, 2012 2:00:33 AM

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