UPDATE: 5th Circuit says no to Stanford bail request

By NEMS Daily Journal

HOUSTON. Texas — A federal appeals court today refused to allow Texas financier R. Allen Stanford to post bond and be released from jail while he awaits trial on what prosecutors say was a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday it doesn’t have jurisdiction in the matter.

Stanford’s lawyers argued to the court two weeks ago he should be freed to help with his defense. They also contend his right to a speedy trial after his 2009 indictment has been violated. U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston has ruled that Stanford is a flight risk and denied release.

Federal prosecutors argued delays in his January trial were proper. Stanford also has requested delays. He is being treated for several medical problems affecting his competency.

Stanford had offices in Tupelo, Jackson and Memphis, as well as around the globe.

Scores of Mississippi clients were among the thousands of Stanford CD investors who lost their life savings and retirement funds when his financial empire collapsed in early 2009 under the weight of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.