Sunday: Snippets on Stanford trial, Davis so far

HOUSTON, Texas – It’s Week 3 on Monday for the U.S. vs R. Allen Stanford.

Former CFO James M. Davis, who once lived west of Baldwyn, continues on the stand as the government’s witnesss closest to Stanford’s dealings – and the government allegations that the two of them, with a few others, fabricated company financial numbers and duped thousands of depositors to buy CDs in Stanford International Bank Ltd. in Antigua (pro – an.TEE,guh)

Last week, Davis pounded home that virtually every cent taken in and spent by any Stanford business entity did so with CD investor purchases through SIBL – all without the knowledge of any of the investors, potential investors, most employees and regulators.

Looking at notes, a few things I’ve lacked time or space to tell you about:

• Defense subpoenaed Davis’ attorney David Finn to answer questions about Davis’ plea agreement with the government.

Of course, Finn cannot answer anything that’s confidential and privileged between himself and Davis. So, what does that leave?

One of my smart federal court sources says the defense may be trying to prove to Judge David Hittner that Davis expects something “specific” from his “substantial assistance” to the government. His plea agreement states that if he does what the government desires across this and at least one other criminal case (Laura Pendergest-Holt et al), they will recommend additional leniency to the judge, who decides the sentence.

How they will seek to get Finn’s help in casting doubt on the agreement isn’t clear, so we’ll just wait and see what the defense has got next week during a special hearing for Finn.

• Did Allen Stanford’s mother verbally or otherwise accost Davis after Friday’s testimony?

Don’t know, but I got that question from somebody who may have been telegraphing to me that it happened, rather than really asking if it had.

Mrs. Sammi Stanford, the mom, is a regular in court, usually sitting on the front or second row with Stanford’s latest girlfriend, I’m told named Evelyn. His daughter, Randi, also is usually there every day, at least for part of the action.

Mrs. Stanford would have sat through 1 1/2 days of DAvis testimony, which has been pretty damning to her son, if the jury believes it. I gotta say she’s a Texas lady and may very well have been thoroughly put out that her son’s top gun turned on him to save his own hide.

Next week, we’ll see if anything else flares up.

• Not sure how long Davis will be on the stand, but the kind person, allowing me to stay at her apartment near the federal courthouse, hopes it will be a short week for him (and me.)

What’s likely?

Well, the US probably has another day or 1 1/2 days for Davis, then the defense takes over. Defense attorneys, especially Robert Scardino, have pretty much blistered other government witnesses during cross-examination so far. He fairly shredded a poor ex-Stanford accountant across a couple of days. I think the man needed help to exit the courtroom after it was all done.

If things run true to court, the defense likely will drill Davis at least a couple of days.

Then, it’s govt re-direct, defense re-cross, govt rebuttal, defense re-rebuttal on and on and on until things get kind of silly and wrap up.

I’m guessing Thursday for his wrapup.

Of course, the govt must end its case in chief before the defense gets its turn. Wish I were going to be here for Stanford’s own testimony. Looks like most of the big-name reporters will take a breather after Davis and not come back until Stanford. We’ve got The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, AP and lots of local TV, as well as public radio.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to figure out alternate ways to keep us all in the trial loop.

• Two of Baldwyn native Laura-Pendergest Holt’s co-defendants were in the courtroom listening to Davis last week – Gil Lopez, Stanford Financial Group’s chief accounting officer, and Mark Kuhrt, global controller for an SFG affiliate. Their trial was pushed back to September.
Perhaps they’re taking note for their own lawyers because Davis should be telling much of the same story about them.
Stay tuned… patsy