Stanford victims can offer thoughts

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Victims of R. Allen Stanford’s $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme may tell his sentencing judge how they feel.
Stanford will be sentenced June 14 in Houston, where he built his international financial empire and where he was found guilty March 6 on 13 counts associated with the fraud.
With nearly 30,000 victims worldwide, U.S. District Judge David Hittner has said all of them can’t speak before he sentences Stanford, possibly to a virtual life sentence in prison.
But Hittner will allow some of them to speak and all others to write their feelings to the court.
People must get their letters to the judge by June 1 to have their words included in a victim’s written statement. Their contact information may be blacked out before the statements go to the government and defense and be made part of the public record.
Letters should go to Judge David Hittner, Southern District of Texas, 515 Rusk Ave., Houston, TX 77002, Attn: R. Allen Stanford Sentencing.
For victims who want to speak before Stanford is sentenced, the judge advises them to call his clerk’s voicemail at (713) 250-5511, leave just their name, phone number and say they want to speak at sentencing.
Hittner said those chosen to speak will be notified by June 7. Their courtroom statements will become part of the public record.
Scores of Mississippians were among Stanford’s victims through business with offices in Tupelo, Jackson and Memphis.
Many lost their life savings and retirement funds. They’re still seeking restitution.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com