In South Florida, aka Ponzistan, it takes some serious effort to stand out among the Nevin Shapiros and Scott Rothsteins as the most deranged fraudster in town. Allen Stanford worked hard to earn that title, allegedly building an $7 billion scam from Miami and Houston while using the cash to buy a Coral Gables castle with a moat for his mistress and most of an entire Caribbean nation (hi, Antigua!), adopting a phony British accent and trying to refashion himself as a cricket baron.
Prosecutors say the Stanford Group Company, which once occupied an opulent office in downtown's Miami Center, lured investors all over the world into a massive Ponzi scheme that funded an outrageous lifestyle for its charismatic Texan CEO.
But the jury in Houston, which has heard weeks of testimony about complex financial statements, has been deliberating since last Wednesday without coming to a consensus on Stanford's 14 charges.
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