Stanford asks to take over his appeals

By Patsy R. Brumfield
Daily Journal

NEW ORLEANS – Convicted financier R. Allen Stanford gained notoriety for his experience with women, but now he’s asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to fire his female appeals lawyer and let him represent himself.

This week, Stanford filed a four-page motion asking to take over his own appeal of his 2012 conviction on multiple counts he defrauded investors of nearly $7 billion.

“Counsel has shown a lack of professionalism … to prepare a defense for Stanford on appeal,” he told the judges.

Consequently, they suspended filing deadlines in his case until they rule on his motion.

Stanford, 63, is serving a 110-year sentence in a central Florida high-security facility after his high-profile trial in Houston, Texas, where he built his international financial empire.

A jury convicted him in early 2012 of spending investor funds on his playboy lifestyle of girlfriends, yachts and Caribbean developments.

When Stanford was arrested in 2009, he had a wife, a fiancée and multiple women living in his properties with children he fathered.

He maintains he is innocent of the criminal charges and blames former chief financial officer, James M. Davis, of mishandling the business of investments and certificate of deposit sales out of Stanford International Bank Ltd in Antigua.

Davis once lived in Baldwyn and worked out of Tupelo and Memphis offices.

Investors – many from Mississippi – lost their life savings and retirement funds with the bank went belly-up under pressures from a federal investigation in early 2009.

Many said they believed the funds were federally insured like at domestic financial institutions. They were not.

Despite years of attempts to collect what’s left of Stanford assets, a court appointed receiver reports he’s compiled only enough money to repay investors one cent on the dollar.

A look at Stanford’s criminal case docket, he’s been represented by 18 different attorneys across the court of his prosecution.

Some of them quit when they realized they weren’t going to get paid after Stanford’s assets were frozen. Stanford also fired others.

After his conviction, the court appointed Houston attorney Lourdes Rodriguez to represent Stanford on appeal.

In his new motion to the court, he insists she hasn’t responded to his letters and other advice on how to handle his appeal. Rodriguez did not comment.

patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com