Stanford defense wraps up trial’s fourth week

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

HOUSTON, Texas – R. Allen Stanford’s defense sought Friday to bolster his image as a busy executive who left a lot to underlings.
Linda Wingfield, a former Stanford senior vice president, offered testimony through a video link from a courtroom in Orlando, Fla.
Wingfield, who worked 11 years for Stanford, said she had responsibilities for overseeing some special projects and described her boss as “a detail person.”
She also told the jury that as time went on, Davis had increased control over the company.
However, on cross-examination by a prosecutor, Wingfield said Stanford never told her he was using bank money to pay for his private companies.
Houston Chronicle reporter Terry Langford, who has covered the trial from its beginning, said on Twitter that the courtroom crowd included numerous people who claimed they lost their savings in the Stanford collapse in 2009.
Friday was the trial’s 19th day, beginning Jan. 24 in Houston, where Stanford started his financial empire.
Stanford, 61, is accused on 14 federal counts that he committed mail and wire fraud, and obstructed a federal investigation into his Stanford International Bank Ltd. in Antigua, through which more than 22,000 investors worldwide bought certificates of deposit.
He and others, who are set for trial in September, are blamed for masterminding a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme on these investors.
Stanford’s attorneys claim he was not a hands-on executive and blame ex-chief financial officer James M. Davis for the company’s financial sins.
Davis, who once lived west of Baldwyn and worked from Tupelo and Memphis offices, pleaded guilty to his part of the scandal in August 2009 and testified against Stanford across four days recently.
Later Friday, the defense called Frank Goll, who said he was a part-owner in two Stanford CDs.
While he said he accepts risks in investments, he admitted he didn’t get any of his money back and blamed a court-appointed receiver presiding over the liquidation of Stanford’s assets.
On cross-examination, the government asked Goll why his name wasn’t on any investments and noted he invested with a now-former Stanford employee who’s being sued by the receiver for $1.4 million.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com