On Tuesday, March 6, after five weeks of trial and four days of deliberations, a jury in federal court in Texas found R. Allen Stanford guilty on thirteen counts. The convictions include charges of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and obstructing an SEC investigation. Here are the key things you need to know.
- Stanford was acquitted on just one count of the 14 with which he was charged. According to Bloomberg, one of the jurors stated after the trial that they became deadlocked on that count, which alleged that Stanford bribed an Antiguan banking regulator with Super Bowl tickets, because the jury was not sure what the rules were in Antigua.
- Two days after the verdict, on March 8, the jury delivered another verdict on civil forfeiture issues. The jury decided that Stanford must forfeit $330 million in 29 bank accounts held outside the United States. The money will be distributed to Stanford victims.
- One of the jurors stated that the one thing in the trial that made the biggest impression on her, more than any evidence or testimony, was Stanford's "arrogance, every day."
- As discussed here, Stanford elected not to testify despite indications from his counsel in opening statements that he would. One of the jurors stated that he was sorry Stanford didn't testify, and that Stanford "might regret that now."
- Stanford is scheduled to receive his sentence in the case on June 14, after any post-trial motions are heard and ruled upon. The four counts of wire fraud and five counts of mail fraud each have a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and Stanford faces up to 230 years in prison.
- The trials for three of Stanford's co-defendants in the case who also pleaded not guilty — Laura Pendergest-Holt, Gilberto Lopez and Mark Kuhrt — have now been set for September 10.
- Key issues that Stanford may raise on appeal include whether he was competent to stand trial (his claim that he could not stand trial due to total amnesia was rejected by the court) and whether his lawyers had enough time to prepare for trial (another rejected claim).
- The Securities Investor Protection Corp (SIPC) is under pressure from the SEC and some members of Congress to pay out funds to Stanford victims. SIPC, however, argues that the fraud was perpetrated by Stanford's offshore bank, which was not a SIPC member. SIPC also contends that covering Stanford investors' losses would drain the the fund set aside for SIPC to aid customers of failed brokerage firms. The matter is presently being litigated.