Tycoon Stanford had a financial empire that stretched from the U.S. to the Caribbean. But after his arrest, all of his assets were seized and he had to rely on court-appointed attorneys to defend him.
(The Canadian Press) Former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas, was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over 20 years in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed down the sentence during a court hearing in which two people spoke on behalf of Stanford's investors about how his fraud had affected their lives.
Stanford's convictions on conspiracy, wire and mail fraud charges followed with a seven-week trial.
During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Stanford gave rambling statement to the court in which he denied he did anything wrong. "I did not run a Ponzi scheme," Stanford told Hittner. I didn't defraud anybody."
Stanford was once considered one of the richest men in the U.S., with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion.
The jury that convicted Stanford also cleared the way for U.S. authorities to go after about $330 million in stolen investor funds sitting in the financier's frozen foreign bank accounts in Canada, England and Switzerland.