* Maximum sentence sought for convicted Ponzi schemer
* Stanford convicted of running $7 billion fraud
* Stanford seeks immediate release, government says
* Sentencing set for June 14
By Jonathan Stempel
June 6 U.S. prosecutors urged a judge on
Wednesday to send convicted financier Allen Stanford to prison
for 230 years, calling him a "ruthless predator" whose $7
billion Ponzi scheme was among the most egregious frauds ever
Such a sentence, the maximum recommended under federal
sentencing guidelines, would be 80 years longer than Bernard
Madoff got in 2009 for his Ponzi scheme, and according to
prosecutors reflects Stanford's place as "among the greediest,
most selfish, and utterly remorseless criminals."
Stanford's lawyers are seeking a prison term of 31 to 44
months for their client, which could result in his immediate
release because he has already been in custody for three years,
according to the government.
Once considered a billionaire but later declared indigent,
Stanford was convicted on March 6 by a federal jury in Houston
on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges.
Prosecutors said he ran a two-decade scheme centered on the
sale of bogus certificates of deposit from his Antigua-based
Stanford International Bank Ltd.
"Robert Allen Stanford is a ruthless predator responsible
for one of the most egregious frauds in history," prosecutors
said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Houston. "The sheer
magnitude of the money stolen, the duration of the crime, and
the extent to which Stanford lived a life steeped in deceit are
Saying that Stanford's request reflected "an audacity that
only further illustrates his depravity," prosecutors countered
that "the nature and circumstances of Stanford's fraud, his own
role and personal history, and the need for forceful deterrence
calls for the most severe punishment permitted by law."
Ali Fazel and Robert Scardino, who are lawyers for Stanford,
did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who presided over
Stanford's six-week trial, is scheduled to sentence Stanford on
In addition to convicting Stanford on 13 criminal counts,
the jury also found that federal authorities should try to seize
$330 million of frozen funds that Stanford stashed in 29 foreign
Stanford also faces civil charges by the U.S. Securities and
The case is U.S. v. Stanford, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of Texas, No. 09-cr-00342.