Day 2: Stanford entourage dwindles, cricket day recalled

Bloomberg/BusinessWeek notes Stanford’s entourage, once featuring his several paramours/wives/their childen, has dwindled to occasional courtroom appearances by his mother and a lone female admirer, who says she also visits him regularly in prison.
Houston attorneys Ali Fazel and Robert Scardino, Stanford’s lead defense counsel, said they’ll use thousands of bank and business records to show jurors the financier never intended to defraud anyone. They claim no investor lost money until the government stepped in and seized the businesses, destroying their value. Stanford International Bank stumbled in the same global financial meltdown that tripped up banks worldwide in late 2008, they said.
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The U.K.’s Daily Mail reminds readers of the trial and gives U.S. readers a corresponding British Pound total – £4.6billion – to compare with the $7.2 billion American reporters use to note claims of an alleged Ponzi scheme on investors.
The Mail also recalls Stanford’s long-ago announcement of the Twenty20matches with the ECB, Stanford landing in a helicopter at the cricket field, and photographed with legends of the game standing by a huge box apparently full of cash.
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Houston Public Radio’s KUHF reporter Andrew Schneider reports on legal analysis about the Stanford scandal:
Geoffrey Corn teaches criminal law and procedure at South Texas College of Law. Corn says the amount of money involved and the extent of Stanford’s offshore dealings make the case unusually complex.
“And that’s the challenge, I think of the prosecutors in a case like this is to demystify and to boil it down to its bare elements, which is, ‘You lied to get people to give you money, and then you used that money to lie to the people who had already given you money that that was their profit.’ The classic pyramid scheme. Not to mention siphoning huge amounts off for your personal gain.”
Stanford faces 14 criminal counts, including fraud, conspiracy to launder money and obstruction of a federal investigation.
“In proving the case at trial, you’re looking at something that looks a lot more like the Enron case.”
Adam Gershowitz teaches criminal law and procedure at the University of Houston Law Center.
“You’re looking at a case where there’s a lot of documents in which Stanford is going to say, ‘No, this is perfect legitimate business operations, and the government doesn’t understand it,’ and they’re going to be put to the burden of showing that this is a criminal enterprise, while the defendant simply says the paperwork shows something different.”
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