By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
HOUSTON, Texas – R. Allen Stanford’s jury told a federal judge this afternoon it can’t decide unanimously on all 14 counts against him.
U.S. District Judge Davis Hittner told them to keep working. They’ll return at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Monday is the trial’s 30th day and the jury began deliberations late Wednesday, without meeting over the weekend.
If the jury cannot reach a verdict, Hittner may be forced to declare a mistrial and Stanford would walk free of the charges.
If found guilty, the former chief of a global financial service empire faces decades in prison and millions in asset forfeitures.
Stanford, 62, insisted he was not guilty and that crimes against investors came at the hands of his former chief financial officer, James M. Davis, who once lived and worked in Northeast Mississippi.
Indicted in 2009, Stanford faced 14 federal courts that he masterminded a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme on purchasers of certificates of deposit through his Stanford International Bank Ltd. in Antigua.
Davis pleaded guilty to his part in the scheme in August 2009 and was the government’s chief insider witness against his former Baylor University roommate, who went on trial Jan. 21.
Davis faces up to 30 years in prison and will be sentenced after he testifies in September against a group of ex-Stanford executives, including Baldwyn native Laura Pendergest-Holt, former chief investment officer.
Courtroom reporters, who can post in real time on the Internet, said a jury note about 4:15 declared their inability to be unanimous of guilt on any of the counts.
More than 1,000 Mississippians are among the 22,000 Stanford investors worldwide who claim they lost their live savings when the financial empire collapsed.
Lawsuits to reclaim lost assets are on hold until the criminal allegations in the case are decided.
Stanford’s defense attorneys insisted he was putting the company back on sound financial footing when a U.S. court-appointed receiver ruined everything by freezing the assets for a federal investigation.
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