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Criminal Justice

Onetime Billionaire Allen Stanford Is Competent for $7B Fraud Trial, Judge Rules

Posted Dec 22, 2011 4:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A onetime Texas billionaire who has been imprisoned as a flight risk since 2009 is competent to stand trial next month in a $7 billion fraud case, a federal judge in Houston ruled today.

Although experts for R. Allen Stanford, 61, said he suffers from amnesia and other mental impairments after suffering a jailhouse beating and becoming addicted to anti-anxiety medication he was subsequently prescribed in jail, U.S. District Judge David Hittner found otherwise, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Government experts said Stanford's claimed impairment was exaggerated and suggested he was trying to get out of defending the case by faking symptoms.

The Associated Press and Bloomberg and also have stories.

Stanford is accused of defrauding investors by selling them so-called certificates of deposit in an offshore bank he controlled that in fact were high-risk and largely worthless instruments.

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