Allen Stanford Judged Fit For Trial Over ‘Ponzi Scheme’

December 23, 2011

US District Judge David Hittner has ruled Texan financier Allen Stanford mentally fit enough to stand trial for supposedly running a £4.5bn ($7bn) Ponzi scheme; one of the biggest white-collar fraud cases since Bernard Madoff.

The trial was initially due in January, but lawyers had put forward the case that a prison attack in September 2009 has impaired the former one time cricket mogul’s memory. Three doctors testified that the man once known as ‘Sir Allen’ was unable of aiding his defence team due to “extensive retrograde amnesia”.

He has spent more than eight months undergoing psychological tests and being weaned off a strong anti-anxiety medication at a North Carolina prison hospital. More than 16 neuropsychological tests and a brain scan has been cited as evidence to the fact that he is faking amnesia, while two prison doctors found that Stanford’s test results were worst than those with advanced dementia.

Dr Robert Cochrane, psychological evaluator at the prison, said “I see no brain injury that stands in the way of his standing trial.”

Mr Stanford stands by his plea of not guilty to charges of charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. He denies operating a Ponzi scheme concerning the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua, following charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009.

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