FBI financial agent testifies in Stanford trial

By NEMS Daily Journal

HOUSTON, Texas – The government’s case against fallen financier R. Allen Stanford has a little more life to go.
Courtroom observers initially thought it would close Tuesday but cross examination of the day’s chief witness resumes Wednesday.
FBI accounting specialist David Martin spent the day on the stand on direct questioning from prosecutors.
Stanford, 61, is on trial on 14 federal counts surrounding an alleged $7.2 billion fraud on investors in certificate of deposits through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.
CD investors were told that their money was managed in conservative investments.
Martin explained graphics to the jury, saying documents showed SIBL’s reported assets increased steadily from 2006 to 2008, The Houston Chronicle reported.
In so-called Tier 2 assets, which were managed investments like stocks, from 2003 to 2008, Martin showed a high of $889 million in 2007. It went down to a high of $445 million in 2008, just before the bank’s collapse.
His testimony supported former CFO James Davis’ account earlier in the trial that Tier 1-2 contained only about 25 percent of bank’s total assets.
Davis, on the stand last week for four days, said Stanford used SIBL like his own personal piggy bank.
Houston public radio’s report shows that Martin also said Stanford spent $1.15 million at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, $1 million to family and friends, and $2 million in Caribbean dollars to Antigua’s ruling Labor Party.
Martin said Stanford was “incorrect” in his October 2008 video statement that the bank had $5.5 million more “than in a normal environment.”
In reality, the FBI agent said, the bank had about $900 million on hand by December 2008.
Martin also walked the jury through millions in cash deposits from the bank to Swiss bank accounts and into Stanford’s personal accounts.
At the opening of court, Stanford’s attorneys argued to subpoena Malcolm Lovett, who works for the Dallas court-appointed receiver liquidating Stanford assets to fund a victims’ pool.
According to the Chronicle, the receiver’s attorneys said Lovett has no knowledge of asset valuation reports sought by the defense.
Ultimately, the defense withdrew its motion for Lovett and decided not to call him.
The trial began Jan. 23 in Houston, where Stanford built his financial services empire.
After the government closes its direct case, the defense gets its chance to present Stanford’s side to the jury.