Defiant US fraudster Allen Stanford vows to clear name

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Dan Roan and Patrick Nathanson (BBC News) report on former financier and sponsor of professional sports Allen Stanford. Stanford—who was formerly a resident of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and now holds dual citizenship, of Antigua and Barbuda and the United States—was convicted of charges that his investment company was a massive Ponzi scheme and fraud. He is serving a 110-year prison sentence in Sumterville, Florida. The convicted fraudster has been speaking about his situation to the BBC, contending that he is in prison because of a wrongful prosecution. For full article and access to interview, see link below; here are excerpts:

Stanford has told the BBC he is innocent. “I didn’t do anything wrong” said the 65-year-old Texan, speaking from a maximum security penitentiary in Florida. “Will I apologise? No. Mark my words… I am going to walk out the doors of this place a free man.”

Stanford says his life behind bars is “hell”. He describes being assaulted by fellow inmates in 2009, saying the treatment he received by the authorities after the attack was “barbaric”.

Stanford’s lack of contrition is sure to anger the victims of his fraud, thousands of whom have little hope of ever recovering the money they lost in his $7bn (£5bn) scam. The former Houston banker was handed a 110-year sentence in March 2012 on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down his global empire. [. . .]

[He] is not eligible for release before 2105 and for the last three years he has been helping a fellow inmate write a book, Brutal Takeover, detailing his demise.

It says he was made a scapegoat by the US authorities for the financial crisis in 2008, and following their failure to detect infamous financier Bernard Madoff’s record $65bn fraud. [. . .] “There is no question that I was a scapegoat for what happened in 2008 and 2009, post-Madoff… They needed a head on a block.”

[. . .] Stanford was born into a lower middle-class family in the small Texan town of Mexia in 1950. After his early business ventures ended in failure, he founded Stanford International Bank in 1991 on Antigua, laying the foundation of his empire and becoming the island’s largest employer. At its most successful, the Stanford Financial Group claimed clients from 140 countries with assets of $50bn under management.

By 2008, Stanford was one of the richest men in America, worth an estimated $2.2bn, and living an extravagant, jet-setting lifestyle in which he enjoyed power and privilege. [. . .]

For full BBC article and interview, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35283297

Also see http://www.winnfm.com/index.php/news/local/15382-stanford-fighting-for-his-freedom

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