HOUSTON -- Texas billionaire financier R. Allen Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison Thursday for running what authorities have called one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston after a court hearing at which Stanford, 62, spoke, followed by two investors.
In March, a Houston jury convicted Stanford on all but one of 14 fraud-related counts and cleared the way for U.S. authorities to seize millions from Stanford's bank accounts.
Stanford's attorneys had argued that he was a legitimate businessman. But prosecutors convinced the jury that Stanford organized a 20-year scheme that siphoned billions through the sale of certificates of deposit from his Caribbean bank to fleece thousands of investors in scores of countries.
On Thursday, Stanford said government investigators had scapegoated him using "Gestapo tactics" to take him down and "dismembered" his business, the Houston Chronicle tweeted. Stanford said he felt sorry for "depositors, employees, families and my own family."