Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in prison

HOUSTON, Thu Jun 14, 2012 – Allen Stanford, the former Texas billionaire convicted of a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 110 years in prison by a U.S. federal judge on Thursday.

Stanford, who was found guilty of 13 felony counts of fraud and conspiracy by a Houston jury in March, used fraudulent certificates of deposit issued by his offshore bank in Antigua to bilk thousands of investors out of their savings.

He blamed the U.S. government for ruining his business and said he never intended to defraud anyone.

“They destroyed it and turned it to nothing,” Stanford said in federal court in Houston, where he was found guilty last March of fraud and conspiracy. “Stanford was a real brick-and-mortar global financial empire.”

Stanford spoke haltingly and appeared to struggle to control emotion at the sentencing hearing. Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of 230 years, arguing in court papers that Stanford’s crime was “one of the most egregious frauds in history.” His attorneys have asked for a sentence of about three years, or the same amount of time Stanford has been in federal custody.