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Texas Tycoon Gets 110 Years: R. Allen Stanford Sentenced

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In what officials are calling the largest Ponzi scheme in United States history, R. Allen Stanford managed to con over 21,000 investors out of $7 billion over a span of twenty years; now, after serving three years in jail, he has been sentenced to an additional 110 years in prison for his crimes.

Once considered one of America’s richest men, Stanford allegedly used money from those investors to fund several failed businesses and to pad his own bank account, laying out cash for a decadent lifestyle that included yachts and private jets. He had piles of cash sitting in foreign bank accounts when he was arrested in 2009, all of which were frozen; however, due to miles of red tape, the money–estimated to be around $330 million–won’t be accessible to the victims of the scheme for years, and even then they probably won’t get everything back.

Stanford maintained his innocence today at the hearing, saying he was a victim himself, and a scapegoat of the federal government.

“I’m not here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness or to throw myself at your mercy,” Stanford said. “I did not run a Ponzi scheme. I didn’t defraud anybody.”

Stanford’s lawyers argued that James M. Davis–the former chief financial officer for Stanford’s businesses–was the real perpetrator behind the fraud, but the judge and jury didn’t buy it. Considering prosecution was aiming for 230 years, some think Stanford got off light. Considering he’s 62-years old, however, the odds are good that he will never be a free man again anyway.

Texas Tycoon Gets 110 Years: R. Allen Stanford Sentenced
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