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Judge delays financier Stanford's release on bond

July 01, 2009|Associated Press

HOUSTON — A federal judge revoked the bond of Texas financier R. Allen Stanford on Tuesday, ordering him kept in jail while he awaits trial on charges that he swindled investors out of $7 billion.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner overturned a magistrate judge's decision last week to allow Stanford to be freed on $500,000 bond but placed under GPS monitoring and home detention. Stanford has been in custody since he was indicted and arrested June 18.

"The court determines that Stanford is a serious flight risk and there is no condition or combination of conditions of pretrial release that will reasonably assure his appearance as required for trial," Hittner wrote in his 13-page order.

Stanford's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said he was disappointed with the decision and would appeal it to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

In his order, Hittner said the arguments made by prosecutors during a four-hour hearing Monday weighed in favor of detention.

The prosecutors, who had appealed the decision granting the bond, told Hittner that Stanford was a serious flight risk because of his international ties, which include holding dual U.S. and Antiguan citizenship, having an international network of wealthy acquaintances and possibly having access to vast wealth hidden around the world.

Stanford and three executives of his now-defunct Houston-based Stanford Financial Group are accused of orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme and misusing most of the $7 billion they advised clients to invest in certificates of deposit from Stanford International Bank on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

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