Stanford competent to stand trial, prosecutors say

By NEMS Daily Journal

Prosecutors say jailed financier R. Allen Stanford is competent to be tried next month as scheduled. They also say he is faking amnesia, according to several reports.
Stanford is set to go on trial in January on criminal charges related to a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Stanford is accused of bilking more than 30,000 investors via fraudulent certificates of deposit through his Stanford International Bank.
According to Reuters, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Costa said Stanford’s scores on medical and neuropsychological tests during a prison medical evaluation “were sufficiently low as to evidence that he either was not trying or was faking.”
On Thursday, Costa asked U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston to find Stanford competent to stand trial.
Costa said a doctor who examined Stanford while he was in prison in North Carolina concluded “Stanford’s performance indicated he was ‘blatantly simulating cognitive defects/known to be malingering.”
Stanford’s lead criminal-defense attorney, Ali Fazel, in a separate court filing, asked Hittner to reject the medical evaluation and continue delaying Stanford’s trial.
A competency hearing for Stanford is scheduled Tuesday in Houston.
According to the Associated Press, Stanford’s attorneys say his addiction to an anti-anxiety drug, as well as a brain injury he suffered in a jail fight, left him unable to think clearly or help in his own defense. He was declared incompetent to stand trial earlier this year.
Stanford’s former chief investment officer, Laura Pendergest-Holt, a Baldwyn native, also is expected to go on trial separately with three others later in 2012.
Former Stanford CFO James M. Davis, also a Baldwyn native, will be the prosecution’s chief witness against them all. He pleaded guilty to his part in the scheme later in 2009. He remains free on bond until his work is done.

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