By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Jailed financier R. Allen Stanford likely faces spending the rest of his life in prison.
Thursday, he’ll learn for sure when U.S. District Judge David Hittner pronounces sentence on him in Houston, Texas, where he built his failed financial empire.
Last week, prosecutors asked Hittner for the maximum – 230 years in prison.
Stanford, 62, has been in federal custody since mid-2009 when his bond was revoked out of fear he would disappear before he could be tried.
The government estimates some 33,000 investors worldwide lost $7.2 billion of savings in certificates of deposit when Stanford International Bank Ltd. and the rest of his financial organization collapsed in early 2009.
Hundreds of Mississippians were among them, doing business with Stanford offices in Tupelo, Jackson and Memphis.
After six weeks of trial, a federal jury on March 6 found Stanford guilty of 13 counts ranging from mail and wire fraud to conspiracies to obstruct a U.S. investigation and to commit money laundering.
Stanford’s attorneys told the jury he intended to repay the millions he “borrowed” from the bank, which garnered its revenues from the CD purchases.
James M. Davis, Stanford’s former chief financial officer and longtime confidante – they insisted – was the real culprit whose alleged mismanagement led to a federal investigation and loss of confidence in the company.
Davis, who once lived in Union County, was the government’s key witness against Stanford.
He pleaded guilty in August 2009 and faces up to 30 years in prison for his part in the scheme.
Facing trial on counts similar to Stanford are Laura Pendergest-Holt, a Baldwyn native, who was his chief investment officer, two other former executives and a former Antiguan bank regulator.
Davis is expected to testify at their trial, too, scheduled to begin Sept. 10 in Houston.
He is not likely to be sentenced until that’s over.
STANFORD VICTIMS, contact Patsy Brumfield, (662) 678-1596, with your reactions Thursday.