|Allen Stanford in his cricket days.|
In South Florida, aka Ponzistan, it takes some serious effort to stand out among the Nevin Shapiros and Scott Rothsteins as the most deranged fraudster in town. Allen Stanford worked hard to earn that title, allegedly building an $7 billion scam from Miami and Houston while using the cash to buy a Coral Gables castle with a moat for his mistress and most of an entire Caribbean nation (hi, Antigua!), adopting a phony British accent and trying to refashion himself as a cricket baron.
He's been on trial in Houston for weeks over the scam and actually got some good news this morning. The jury, at least for the moment, is deadlocked on his charges
: Stanford is guilty
. The jury came back late Wednesday with guilty verdicts on 13 of 14 counts. He's facing a possible life sentence for the crimes.
Prosecutors say the Stanford Group Company, which once occupied an opulent office in downtown's Miami Center, lured investors all over the world into a massive Ponzi scheme that funded an outrageous lifestyle for its charismatic Texan CEO.
Stanford essentially took over the economy of Antigua, a small Caribbean nation, bought a $10.5 million Coral Gables mansion for a mistress and spent millions starting a new cricket tournament in his adopted home.
But the jury in Houston, which has heard weeks of testimony about complex financial statements, has been deliberating since last Wednesday without coming to a consensus on Stanford's 14 charges.
A judge this morning sent them back to keep talking. We'll update this post if they come to a verdict or if a mistrial ultimately results.
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