Allen Stanford -- the massive Ponzi-schemer and full-time nutter who put his billions in illicit profits into a Coral Gables castle and cricket tournaments in the Caribbean -- was sentenced to more than a century of jail time for his crimes today. A federal judge in Texas sentenced the financier, who had a major office in downtown Miami, to 110 years in prison. Stanford was defiant until the end.
"I'm not up here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness," he said. "I'm up here to tell you from my heart I didn't run a Ponzi scheme."
That's not what a federal jury found, nor what the records of Stanford's decadent last months running his Stanford Group Company show.
A jury in March found him guilty on 13 of 14 counts the feds leveled accusing him of building up a $7 billion Ponzi scheme -- a decision that netted New Times pick for "Best Criminal Conviction" in our Best of Miami issue on stands this week.
From his Miami office, Stanford preyed heavily on Latin American clients, selling billions in certificates of deposit to his international bank, which was based in Antigua. On that small island, Stanford bought nearly everything of value -- from the newspaper to the airport -- and ran it like a small kingdom.
In court today, he was reduced to "near tears" and delivering what the New York Times calls a "rambling statement" claiming his business was solvent until the feds raided him.
"We could have paid off every depositor and still have substantial assets remaining," he said.
Prosecutors called that version of events "obscene."
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"This is a man utterly without remorse," prosecutor William Stellmach said, the Times reports. "From beginning to end, he treated all of his victims as roadkill."
The sentencing marks the end to a trial nearly as bizarre as Stanford's Ponzi scheme, with the defendant claiming to have lost most of his memory after getting seriously beaten in a jailhouse fight.