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Ponzi Schemer Allen Stanford Shows up for Hearing in Shackles, Pleads Not Guilty

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New Times' favorite accused Ponzi schemer, the island-ownin', mistress-swappin', cricket-lovin' Sir R. Allen Stanford, had his first day in court today.

Stanford was finally charged last week with 21 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice in connection with his Antigua-based bank, which the feds say plundered $7 billion from thousands of investors.

He showed up for his hearing today with shackles on his hands and feet -- perhaps in a nod to his earlier threats to punch reporters in the face.

Stanford pleaded not guilty to the charges in a jam-packed Houston courthouse. Three other Stanford execs, including chief financial officer Laura Pendergest-Holt, also pleaded not guilty.

A judge has yet to rule whether to release Stanford on bail.

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