Criminal Justice

Is Onetime Texas Billionaire Faking Memory Loss to Avoid Trial in $7B Alleged Fraud?

R. Allen Stanford is scheduled to go to trial in January in an alleged $7 billion fraud in which investors were duped into buying so-called certificates of deposit at an offshore bank that are now worth next to nothing.

But the former Texas billionaire isn’t competent to defend himself, he and his lawyers say, because a jailhouse beating and anti-anxiety drugs administered while he was incarcerated left him without any memory of much of what happened during the first 59 years of his life.

Doctors retained by the government are dubious, Bloomberg reports. They contend that Stanford, now 61, is faking.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg J. Costa said in a court filing that Stanford’s performance on mental tests were suspiciously substandard, “worse than subjects with advanced dementia or mental retardation,” Bloomberg reported in an earlier story.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner is holding a hearing today in federal court in Houston concerning Stanford’s competency to stand trial.

He has excluded offered testimony by Stanford’s former lawyer and mother, saying that only physician testimony is relevant, Bloomberg notes.

Earlier coverage: “SEC Looked Into Stanford CDs in 2005; Why Didn’t Feds Act Sooner in $8B Case?” “Financier Stanford Indicted in $7B Scam After Surrender” “Onetime Billionaire Stanford Is Incompetent for Trial in $7B Fraud Case, Psychiatrist Says” “Stanford Can’t Assist in Own Defense”

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