A Houston-area banker was sentenced to 110 years in prison last week after being convicted on charges related to an alleged years-long investment fraud scheme. Federal investigators say that R. Allen Stanford, the former board chair at Stanford International Bank, led a fraud ring that lasted for approximately 20 years and diverted more $7 billion from the bank to finance his own personal business endeavors.
During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Stanford misled investors and spent their money on personal pursuits like business upstarts, boats and cricket tournaments. He was convicted on 13 charges, including mail fraud and wire fraud.
Stanford's prison sentence is especially long, even with compared to other high-profile people convicted of white-collar crimes. For example, Bernard Madoff's sentence was 40 year's shorter than Stanford's
Stanford Denies Charges, Will Appeal
Stanford's lawyers say they are planning to appeal both the lengthy sentence and the underlying convictions. If they are unsuccessful, Stanford will likely spend the rest of his life in federal prison.
Stanford maintains that he never engaged in fraudulent behavior. He also said that his bank was in good financial health. In fact, The Washington Post quoted him as saying that the business could have liquidated its assets, paid off all depositors and liabilities and still had significant assets left.
The way Stanford's case was handled by the judge and prosecutors highlights the need to have an experienced criminal defense attorney when charged with white-collar crimes in Texas. Especially after the recent economic recession, the government treats white-collar crime seriously and often tries to "make an example" out of defendants.
Source: The Washington Post, "Allen Stanford gets 110-year prison sentence for $7 billion fraud," Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Andrew Harris, June 14, 2012.