R. Allen Stanford will likely spend the rest of his life in a federal penitentiary after a federal judge sentenced the Ponzi schemer to years in prison Thursday.
Stanford, 62, was convicted in March of fourteen fraud-related charges (including conspiracy, mail fraud, and money laundering) for running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme that stretched to some 113 countries. He faced up to 230 years in prison, the AP reported.
Daily Intel ’s Kevin Roose noted that this sentence should make Stanford “26.67 percent happier than Bernie Madoff,” who received a 150-year sentence for his Ponzi scheme. Stanford will get out of jail when he is a “spry 172-year-old.”
Stanford took the stand Thursday to defend his legacy. “A defiant Mr. Stanford, in a rambling statement to the court before the sentencing, intermittently fought back tears and shuffled papers, and said, ‘I’m not up here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness. I’m up here to tell you from my heart I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme,’” Clifford Krauss reported for the New York Times.
“I am and will always be at peace with the way I conducted myself in business,” Stanford said, according to the Houston Chronicle ’s Ronnie Crocker, who described Stanford as “graying and paunchy in dark green prison togs.”
Federal prosecutor, William J. Stellmach, was unmoved by the speech. “To the bitter end, he was a con man and a coward,” Stellmach said, according to the AP.
The legal drama surrounding the Stanford Financial Group is not yet over, however, as three of Stanford’s former colleagues will be tried in September.
Relive the drama by reading Mimi Swartz’s May 2009 piece in TEXAS MONTHLY piece on how Stanford’s empire unraveled.