In exchange for her plea, federal prosecutors recommend she spend three years in prison.
Holt, 38, was Stanford Financial Group’s highest ranking female executive as its chief investment officer in 2009 when a federal investigation brought it crashing down.
Today, she pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing that investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which was looking into Stanford’s financial dealings, especially through its Caribbean based Stanford International Bank Ltd.
Without the plea deal, Holt faced a September trial on 21 counts ranging from money laundering to mail fraud and conspiracy. Three others – two former executives and an Antiguan ex-bank regulator – still face charges in the scam, which cost some 30,000 investors worldwide their life savings and retirement funds.
Her former boss, R. Allen Stanford, was convicted on 13 of those charges March 6 and sentenced to 110 years in prison.
Holt worked out of Stanford offices in Memphis and Tupelo, and was accused during Stanford’s trial of hiring unqualified personnel including relatives and fellow church members as financial managers there.
Today’s hearing was described as a “re-arraignment,” which meant she faced a new charge.
It came in the form of an information, which is a criminal accusation that doesn’t go through a grand jury, which is how an indictment occurs.
Not long after her 2009 indictment, Holt moved to North Carolina with her husband. Her Baldwyn home on Clayton Street recently was sold by its mortgage holder.
Where she will serve her sentence will be up to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
• Read Friday’s Daily Journal for more information.