Financier Allen Stanford Sentenced to 110 years

The sentencing hearing for Financier Allen Stanford just concluded. The Government sought 230 years. The judge imposed 110 years. He was ordered to forfeit $5.9 billion. Stanford addressed the court. Via Twitter:

"If I live the rest of my life in prison...I will always be at peace with the way I conducted myself in business."


"230 years will not get anyone their money back...but on sleepless nights" they will know he got the maximum. "

Stanford has been in jail since July, 2009. He has not had an easy time. In 2009, he was assaulted at the Joe Corley Correction Center, and sustained brain damage and the loss of reading ability in his right eye. After surgery, they over-medicated him to the point the Judge declared him incompetent to proceed to trial. [More...]

From a defense motion:

On September 24, 2009, Mr. Stanford was assaulted by an inmate at Joe Corley Detention Center. As a result of this assault, Mr. Stanford suffered a concussion, traumatic brain injury, fractures of multiple facial bones including the nose, and right orbital bone and injury to his right optic nerve. Mr. Stanford underwent surgery five (5) days later to repair the damage to his face and jaw. He has since complained of frequent headaches, has permanently lost the ability to read with his right eye, and permanently lost all feeling on the right side of his face.

He was moved to the federal detention center. They put him in solitary for 23 days and over-medicated him to the point he became incompetent to stand trial.

At the detention center, Stanford was given Klonopin, Remeron and Zoloft. The doctors who examined him for the competency hearing say the Klonopin was administered in an unusually high dosage, as high as 3.0 mg per day. If Klonopin is not withdrawn correctly, doctors said Stanford could suffer seizures or potentially die

He continually sought bond to get private treatment. His requests were denied each time. He was diagnosed as suffering from delirium, an organic brain syndrome. It could not be determined whether the delirium was the result of over-medication or soft-tissue damage from the traumatic brain injury.

Initially, Stanford had some very prominent lawyers representing him, including at various points, Dick DeGuerin and Robert Luskin. DeGuerin described the conditions under which he was held at Joe Corley:

His motion to have Stanford moved said Stanford is in a single cell with 8 to 10 other inmates, the temperature is over 100 degrees, and sometimes they have been held for hours in total darkness due to electricity going out. He asked that Stanford be moved to a BOP facility but the Judge denied the request.

Eventually, Stanford was found competent to stand trial, provided court-appointed counsel, tried and convicted. And now, unless the conviction is overturned on appeal, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Well, (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:37:43 PM EST
    it's all about sending "messages," isn't it?

    The other day Congress had Jamie Dimon in the witness box testifying. The CEO of JPMorgan/Chase, first among equals of a cabal that arguably caused more damage to the world than a 1000 Stanfords, got to go home to his palatial estate, secure in the knowledge that if the crime is big enough laws just don't apply to you.

    Too Big To Fail=Too Big To Jail

    Sanford (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:57:46 PM EST
    Had an estimated 20,000 investors that were swindled for over $7 billion.

    Seems like a handful of days per victim doesn't seem so outrageous.


    Nowhere in my comments (none / 0) (#7)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:13:18 PM EST
    did I imply Stanford's sentence (in reality, Life) is unfair, just trying to put it into perspective. Those who commit really bad financial crimes go to jail; those who commit unspeakably horrible financial crimes get immunity.

    Maybe Stanford (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:15:35 PM EST
    Didn't give enough money to the right political campaigns.

    I'm pretty sure Stanford "contributed" (none / 0) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:25:51 PM EST
    but, when your government is simply an open auction, Dimon just outbid Stanford.

    It's not much more complicated than that, IMO, of course.


    I can't argue with that (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:29:48 PM EST
    What criminal statue (none / 0) (#11)
    by lousy1 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:54:59 PM EST
    would you use to prosecute Jamie Dimon?

    Losing money is not a crime.


    I don't know of any (none / 0) (#12)
    by jharp on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 05:47:33 PM EST
    I don't know of any criminal statute  he could be prosecuted under. But losing 2 billion dollars of other people's money certainly warrants a look.

    I would call him to testify to Congress and try to find out if he had violated any laws. And I'll bet there is about a 50/50 chance he lies to Congress.

    And if he had or does, then I'd prosecute him.


    I've not heard that (none / 0) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:41:23 PM EST
    any investors were duped.  If you give money to somebody to go play investment games for you in hopes of high returns, seems to me that's your risk.

    I'm not totally up on the JPMorgan loss, but in any case, wasn't that the bank's money?  I thought I'd heard it was "proprietary" trades.  But I could well be wrong.

    As for the financial crisis, unlike the other banking morons, JPMorgan got out of the CDO business several years before it blew up because they almost alone realized it was unsustainable.

    I'm not actually much of a Jamie Dimon fan, or JPMorgan, but it does appear they've behaved a lot more responsibly than the other Bigs.  (I know, I know, that's not saying much, but still.)


    sorry, but one doesn't lose 2 billion dollars just (none / 0) (#18)
    by cpinva on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 12:33:21 AM EST
    playing by the rules. at minimum (and this appears to be part of the case), mr. dimon failed his fiduciary responsibility to the firm's investors, by not maintaining sufficient oversight of the broker directly responsible for the losses. had that oversight been rigorous enough, the losses most likely (absent some extraordinary event) wouldn't have reached nearly that level, which may well be closer to 3 billion dollars.

    that's one reason mr. dimon gets paid the big bucks, to not let a rogue broker go off on his/her own, exposing the firm (and its clients) to unnecessary risk.


    Failure of fiduciary duty I'll buy (none / 0) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 01:30:05 PM EST
    But you most certainly can manage to lose $2b legally if the total pot you're playing with is $189b, or whatever JP has.  I can lose the equivalent by buying $40 worth of lottery tickets at the convenience store.

    Here's (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 08:33:56 AM EST
    the SEC complaint against Sanford.

    oops - sorry (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 08:34:27 AM EST
    This thread is about Dimon.

    When you invest (none / 0) (#27)
    by lousy1 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 09:44:13 PM EST
    You win some lose some. Sounds like JP Morgan has  than they have lost.

    When a investment company pursues a strategy of leveraging investments, gains or loses are emphasized. As long as the investor is aware of this strategy they should understand the risks.

    It also seems JP Morgans gains or losses were only applicable to its investors and stock holders.

    Unless they either misled those for aforementioned parties, or disregarded SEC regulations its not the governments job to intervene

    Whats next? Congressional hearings on Davey Johnson decisions to bunt with two outs?


    Not being a lawyer (none / 0) (#13)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 05:50:22 PM EST
    I can't stipulate a statute for you.

    However, countless financial professionals have stipulated that SEC laws, and others, have been broken.

    And, there's history and precedence, of course. The savings and Loan scandal of the 80's, where thousands of senior executives actually went to jail.

    But, you knew that, and you also knew that without any investigation we'll never know the full extent of the criminality that caused the Great Recession of 2008.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#14)
    by lousy1 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 06:48:10 PM EST
    But if anyone broke a law - and the SEC doesn't lack pernicious regulations - then consequences should be applied

    The big problem is lack of competition

     Of course if we had smaller financial institution operating in a competitive environment then we would have an increased number of failures.

    Not a big deal if the investors are liable to pick up any lose that was initially reimburse by the government.

    The Directors would become a bit more selective selecting operating officers and direction erring  to the side of caution.


    Frankly (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 01:46:13 PM EST

    110 is about right, although 230 would have been fine as well.  It would be sweeter if someone at the SEC that turned a blind eye to this for years got 2%.  


    A federal sentence is required, by law (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 01:57:36 PM EST
    to be not only "sufficient" to achieve the ends of criminal justice but also "not greater than necessary."  I do not understand how a sentence greatly exceeding a defendant's life expectancy can be other than "greater than necessary," and thus unlawful.  

    life (none / 0) (#3)
    by jharp on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:30:09 PM EST
    "he will spend the rest of his life in prison."

    Seems pretty fair to me.

    Sanford (none / 0) (#6)
    by barbarajmay on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:00:31 PM EST
    It doesn't sound "cruel and unusual" to me.  Move along.

    Prison by definition... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:01:12 AM EST
    is cruel and unusual.

    Sometimes we have no choice but to resort to caging people...the hopelessly violent repeat offenders, the cold blooded killers and rapists...most every other crime that must be dealt with can be dealt with in more humane ways.

    I for one don't need this hustler in prison, what was left of the illgotten gains were seized/frozen and hopefully the state doesn't d*ck around too much doling it back out to the duped.  The 110 year sentence is just societal rage, I'd like to think we'd want to be better than that.

    Besides, cats like this are only a threat to unsavvy gamblers who don't have the sense to stay away from wagers they don't understand, and/or don't have the sense to know "if its too good to be true it is".  How many Madoffs and Sanfords is it gonna take to wise people up?  

    The stock market and assorted high finance wagering is not a casino that values your business or plays it on the square. Play blackjack or bet a horse like a normal human being if ya wanna try to turn a dollar into two without working in a (relatively) square game.  Stay away from rigged games you don't understand.  And the golden rule, don't bet what you can't afford to lose.  Don't give a guy like Sanford your money unless you are prepared to lose it all.


    Tell that (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:19:39 AM EST
    To the average Joes who lost their pensions to Madoff and Stanford.  They weren't "high-roller gamblers" - they were teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc.

    They need to take that up... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:29:59 AM EST
    with the easy marks running their pension funds, gambling their retirements in a glorified shell game. It's the risk of outsourcing your very own future.

    Average Joes and Janes like us need to step up our games and take more responsibilty for our money, our pensions, our futures, our very lives.  


    Maybe (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:55:53 AM EST
    But there's also a reason why we hire experts - I can't be highly informed about everything.

    And many of those people were in the pensions long before the rules changed and people like Sanford and Madoff got in the game.


    If your hired "expert"... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 11:02:53 AM EST
    gave your money to a grifter, I question his or her "expertise".

    I get what you're saying...but its really no excuse.  Don't cry when ya get burned playing with fire.  And that's excatly what playing with our financial sector is....playing with fire.  

    I wish working people didn't have to gamble in rigged games full of shady characters for a chance at a fully funded comfortable retirement...but thats the system we created for ourselves.  Damned if I know how to change it for the better, my best play right now is not to play and to not contribute any of my money to the game, and plan on working till I die.


    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#16)
    by Angel on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:53:17 PM EST