It’s Day 2 for the Allen Stanford trial in Houston, Texas.
Jury’s expected to be seated shortly and each side – government and defense – will have a chance to map out what’s to come across the 6-8 week of this federal proceeding.
Stanford, 62, is accused of operating a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme on investors worldwide with more than a thousand from Mississippi.
I’ll give you a sample of what some writers are saying, but perhaps the most curious to me, with all the coverage I’ve written, is from the New York Post that the government will be “very reliant” on one witness – James Davis, who is well known around Tupelo for his large presence at the Stanford office here, as well as his large house built northwest of Baldwyn, where he and his wife sought to stage a real estate renaissance.
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Here’s a look at the Post’s Josh Kosman’s story, with some insights into Davis and a list of other witnesses:
That witness is Stanford’s former finance chief and admitted felon, James Davis.
“You can tell by looking at the witness list,” a source close to the situation said, noting Davis is scheduled to testify for 15 hours, more than any other witness — by far.
There are 22 witnesses and the longest any of the others is scheduled to be on the stand is six hours, the source noted.
“He is the longest by far,” the source said.
Relying on a star witness who has pleaded guilty to three felony counts can be risky, the source said.
Davis was Stanford’s right-hand man, and potentially knows all the secrets.
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International reporters also are on the scene for the trial, given that investors came from everywhere. Stanford also was very big into the sport of cricket, which is an international interest.
Writers also are interested in Stanford’s alleged amnesia, which he insists is the result of a jailhouse beating.
Here are bits from write Andy Bull with The Guardian in the U.K:
Allen Stanford. Remember him? Many people would prefer not to, including, it has been argued in a Houston Courthouse, the man himself. His defence say that he is suffering from "extensive retrograde amnesia", a consequence of the vicious assault he suffered while incarcerated in the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Texas.
Stanford, the prosecutor's report continued, claims to be unable to recall events "including his romantic encounters with various female partners, past vacation and holiday activities with his children, visits with famous politicians, as well as details of his business and banking operations." His family members have had to "educate" him about his previous life, and he has "indicated feeling bad after being informed by his family that he was known as a 'womanizer.'"
Stanford's alleged victims, meanwhile, have been fighting a long and frustrating battle to try and reclaim their losses. Lawyers appointed for the receiver said in court filings that despite the $7.2bn represented in account balances at the time of Stanford's arrest, the actual assets totalled only $500m. According to reports made last October, of that sum, less than half, $216m, has been amassed. And after legal and other fees have been deducted only around $80m remains to be divided between the victims.
The cricket community, in stark contrast, has found closure easier to come by. The two Twenty20 matches played by England against the West Indies at the end of the last season were designed to fill the gaps left in the TV schedules by the Stanford fixtures. Otherwise, the whole sorry episode seems to have been forgotten about. The chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Giles Clarke, recently said: "I am not a believer in hanging around with what has happened. One has to move on."
Clarke was talking about the ECB's relations with the Pakistan Cricket Board, but the motto also serves to sum up the sport's reaction to Stanford.
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Come back for more... patsy