(Bloomberg News) R. Allen Stanford was convicted of fraud in what prosecutors said was a $7 billion scheme involving bogus certificates of deposit at his Antigua-based bank.
A federal jury in Houston today found the financier guilty of all but one of the 14 counts against him, including wire and mail fraud and obstructing a federal regulatory investigation. Stanford, 61, faces as long as 20 years in prison for each fraud count.
Stanford, who was ranked 205 on Forbes magazine's 2008 list of the richest Americans with a net worth of $2.2 billion, has been jailed since being indicted in June 2009 after prosecutors said he might try to flee.
The founder of Stanford Financial Group, based in Houston, denied accusations by prosecutors and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he cheated investors through CDs issued by Stanford International Bank Ltd.
The jury of eight men and four women began deliberating Feb. 29 before reaching today's verdict after a five-week trial. While a defense lawyer told jurors in an opening statement on Jan. 24 that they would hear from Stanford, he was never called to the witness stand.
The criminal case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09-cr-00342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston). The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stanford International Bank Ltd., 09-cv-298, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).