Former billionaire Texas financier, R. Allen Stanford, was convicted of fleecing 30,000 investors from 113 countries in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme and will spend the rest of his life behind bars as he was sentenced on Thursday to 110 years.
According to the New York Times, Stanford gave a rambling statement when he was being sentenced while fighting back tears saying:
“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.”
He blamed the government for the collapse of his businesses and asserted that-
“we could have paid off every depositor and still have substantial assets remaining.”
A federal jury in March convicted Stanford of 13 out of 14 counts of fraud in connection with a worldwide scheme over more than 20 years in which he offered fraudulent high-interest certificates of deposit at the Stanford International Bank, which was based on the Caribbean island of Antigua.
Prosecutors argued that Mr. Stanford had consistently lied to investors, promoting safe investments for money that he channeled into a luxurious lifestyle, a Swiss bank account and various business deals that almost never succeeded.
Stanford, who only 2 years ago flaunted his wealth, was worth an estimated $2 billion as he received a knighthood awarded by Antigua, a collection of yachts, a fleet of jets and even owning a professional cricket team and stadium.