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Houston Jury Says Feds Can Seize $330M From Foreign Bank Accounts Controlled By R. Allen Stanford

Posted Mar 9, 2012 12:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In a move that puts the feds a step closer to getting their hands on the assets of onetime billionaire R. Allen Stanford's business operations, but doesn't assure that they will beat out competing claimants, a federal court jury in Houston decided on Thursday that Stanford must forfeit to U.S. authorities $330 million from 29 foreign bank accounts he controls.

The decision, which was reported by the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters, among other media outlets, follows the jury's conviction of Stanford earlier this week on 13 of 14 counts he faced in a $7 billion federal fraud trial.

The jury determined that the money in the accounts derives from Stanford's illegal activities. Prosecutors contended he bilked investors to fund a lavish lifestyle; the defense contended that the money was spent on legitimate business ventures which were viable until the government interfered with the operation.

The jurors agreed early on during deliberations concerning Stanford's guilt that the government's case was credible and disagreed only about a wire fraud charge related to Super Bowl tickets that Stanford provided to an Antiguan regulator, according to the Houston Chronicle and Reuters. The eight men and four women eventually acquitted him on that one wire fraud charge.

“We were confident we made the decision we had to,” accountant David Wright told the newspaper. He called the evidence against Stanford “overwhelming.”

Stanford is scheduled to be sentenced in June. He could face 20 years on the most serious charges, and even more if sentences are imposed consecutively.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Stanford Verdict Could Be Bad News for Attorney and 2 Law Firms Facing Related Civil Cases"

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