UPDATE: Stanford gets public defender

HOUSTON, Texas – Jailed former billionaire Sir R. Allen Stanford got a new attorney today – a public defender.

In U.S. District Court, Stanford told Judge David Hittner he didn’t want private counsel Dick DeGuerin any more and said he didn’t know if he had any money.

“I’ll take that as a no,” Hittner was quoted saying in the Houston Chronicle, just before making the public-defender appointment.

Stanford and other co-defendants had their assets frozen in February, after a Securities & Exchange investigation into his businesses, including Stanford International Bank Ltd. and Stanford Financial Group.

They are accused of masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme on some 30,000 investors.

Other co-defendants, including Laura Pendergest-Holt of Baldwyn, are free on bond. Stanford is held in the Conroe jail northeast of Houston after categorized as a substantial flight risk.

Read Wednesday’s Daily Journal or come back to Patsy’s blog, From the Front Row, for more details.

Patsy Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal