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Latest Lawyers for Billionaire Allen Stanford Want to Call It Quits; $7B Fraud Trial Is Days Away

Posted Jan 12, 2012 1:22 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The latest lawyers for a onetime billionaire—whose legal representation has been a revolving door for a dozen or so attorneys—are seeking court permission to withdraw less than two weeks before R. Allen Stanford's scheduled criminal trial over his role in an alleged $7 billion fraud.

Attorneys Ali Fazel and Robert Scardino sought permission to withdraw in a federal court filing yesterday in Houston. They said budget constraints and other issues have made it impossible for them to represent Stanford appropriately, Bloomberg reports.

Because Stanford's assets have been frozen, the two lawyers are being paid from public funds.

“The rulings of this court, the budget matters made public by this court, and matters still under seal have placed counsel in an untenable position,” the two attorneys wrote in their motion. “Counsel cannot represent the accused competently.”

Earlier, Stanford's lawyers argued unsuccessfully that he isn't competent to assist in his own defense.

As detailed in previous ABAJournal.com posts, Stanford's legal team has repeatedly changed lawyers during the more than two years the Texas financier has been facing civil and criminal charges concerning worthless so-called certificates of deposit he is accused of selling to investors through an offshore bank he controlled.

A Reuters article tallies the total number of lawyers who have so far represented Stanford at "roughly 14."

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "How Many Lawyers Does Constitution Allow? Onetime Billionaire Allen Stanford May Find Out"

ABAJournal.com: "After Federal Judge Bans Counsel Changes, Onetime Billionaire Tells New Lawyer He’s Fired"

ABAJournal.com: "Law Firm Sues Akin Gump and Lloyd’s, Says It Was Stiffed on Stanford’s $437K Defense Bill"

ABAJournal.com: "Report: Ex-SEC Enforcement Leader, Now a BigLaw Partner, Will Pay $50K re Work for Accused Swindler"

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