R. Allen Stanford was sentenced today to 110 years in prison today for swindling his investors out of more than $7 billion in one of the largest ponzi schemes in American history.
Reuters reports that Stanford was convicted of 13 felony accounts, including conspiracy, wire and mail fraud charges, in March. U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who handed down Stanford’s sentence, called his actions one of the most “egregious criminal frauds” he’d ever seen. (In comparison, Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 170 years.)
The Associated Press reports that Stanford spoke for nearly 40 minutes during his sentencing hearing, claiming that he was innocent and that he was a scapegoat.
“I’m not here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness or to throw myself at your mercy… I did not run a Ponzi scheme. I didn’t defraud anybody.”
Federal prosecutor, William J. Stellmach, said that Stanford’s closing statement showed that he had absolutely no remorse for his actions.
“This is a man utterly without remorse. From beginning to end, he treated all of his victims as roadkill. He went after the middle class, including people who didn’t have money to lose. People have lost their homes. They have come out of retirement.”
The New York Times reports that Stanford has been swindling investors out of money for the last two decades. Prosecutors said that Stanford offered fraudulent high-interest certificates and consistently lied to investors. Stanford assured investors that their money was safe while he used their investments to support his luxurious lifestyle.
At one point, Stanford had a net worth of over $2 billion and was considered one of the richest men in America.