By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
HOUSTON, Texas – Fallen financier R. Allen Stanford’s defense team must put on its case, not get a bench acquittal, U.S. District Judge David Hittner ruled this afternoon.
Get “everything ready to roll,” Hittner told them, The Houston Chronicle reported.
The defense’s acquittal motion was expected after today’s lunch break.
Prosecutors rested the government’s case late this morning against former financier R. Allen Stanford.
The defense motion for a “directed verdict” of not guilty is a typical move after the government ends its case. Usually, it is denied by the presiding judge.
Stanford, 61, went on trial Jan. 24 in Houston, where he founded his financial services empire.
He is accused of participating in a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme on investors in certificates of deposit through his Stanford International Bank Ltd. in Antigua.
He insists he is not guilty and blames former chief financial officer, James M. Davis, who lived west of Baldwyn and worked out of Stanford’s Tupelo and Memphis offices.
Davis spent four days on the stand, telling a 15-member jury his experiences as Stanford’s closest business associate. He also admitted to numerous personal and professional indiscretions along the way.
Earlier today, the government ended its case with testimony from FBI accounting specialist David Martin.
If the defense must begin its case, Stanford was expected to testify, but at midday some doubts began to rise about whether he will.
With Hittner’s ruling, the trial likely continues for several more weeks.
* Read more about the Stanford trial in Thursday’s Daily Journal or online at www.djournal.com and click on the Allen Stanford Trial News icon.