Judge rejects Stanford bail request for third time

R. Allen Stanford won’t be getting out of jail any time soon, a federal judge in Texas decided Wednesday.
Stanford, the 60-year-old former CEO of the failed Stanford financial empire, was arrested in June 2009 on 23 federal counts that he and others masterminded a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme on certificate of deposit investors.
Stanford had offices in Mississippi – Tupelo and Jackson – and in Memphis, among other places. Scores of the region’s residents lost their life savings when the company collapsed under the weight of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company is in receivership.
His attorneys, including famed defense attorney Allen Dershowitz, petitioned the U.S. District Court in South Texas to allow him out of jail for house arrest so that he could assist in preparing for his January 2011 trial.
Wednesday, District Judge David Hittner said no.
It’s the third time he’s been turned down for bail.
“This is well trodden ground,” Hittner wrote in his 20-page order.
Hittner originally denied Stanford bail because prosecutors convinced him Stanford was a serious flight risk.
In response to claims his extended detention violates his constitutional right to due process, the judge said, “It cannot be said that Stanford’s detention to this point has crossed the line from serving its regulatory purpose,” which is to ensure Stanford will appear in court.
Hittner also notes that Stanford waived his rights to a speedy trial and actually sought a delay because of the case’s complex nature.
Stanford will be tried alone, which the judge says will likely mean a shorter trial. Co-defendants, including Baldwyn native Laura Pendergest-Holt, gained a separate trial order recently, saying they would be prejudiced by a “circus-like atmosphere” they feared from Stanford and his attorneys.
Hittner termed “unfounded and baseless” Stanford’s assertions his rights to adequate counsel were being denied, as well as claims that his health has suffered during detention.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio