Stanford judge denies visit from fiance'

By Patsy Brumfield/Daily Journal

HOUSTON, Texas – R. Allen Stanford’s request to see his fiance’ was denied this week.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who presides over a criminal case against Stanford and other company executives, gave no reason for the denial in a Tuesday order in Texas’ Southern District, headquartered in Houston.

Stanford and the others were indicted last June on accusations they participated in a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme on investors in Stanford International Bank certificates of deposit. They have pleaded not guilty. All but Stanford are out on bail.

Last week, Stanford’s attorneys asked the court to allow his fiance’, Andrea Stoelker, to visit him at the Federal Correctional Facility in downtown Houston. They said permission was needed since she is not recognized as a member of his immediate family.

If Stanford’s assets hadn’t been frozen by a court-appointed receiver a year ago, Stanford and Stoelker would be married by now, counsel told Hittner. But he’s been unable to finalize his divorce because of a parallel civil lawsuit.

They also told the judge that regular visitation with Stoelker would help improve “his sense of isolation” and ease his “current, major depressive disorder.”

In documents attached to the visit request, Stanford has hand-written comments to Warden Joe Driver:

• To thank him for allowing an early January visit by Stoelker.

• He says Stoelker “continues to use her life savings” to pay his legal bills and brings his two youngest children to visit him on Sundays.

Driver responded on the four-page message: “Request Denied. Mr. Stanford, I told you this was a one time special visit.”