After more than a month on trial, R. Allen Stanford's fate has been decided: A jury had found him guilty on 13 counts.
Stanford has been accused of orchestrating a more than $7 billion Ponzi scheme, misleading thousands of investors, selling fraudulent certificates of deposit and spending the money on jets, newspapers, a cricket stadium, personal property and a general life of luxury in the Caribbean and in Houston.
The trial began on Jan. 24, and Stanford — who has been in jail without bond since his indictment in June 2009 — pleaded not guilty to the 14-count indictment. Throughout the trial, Stanford maintained his innocence, and his court-appointed defense attorneys have claimed that any fraud was the fault of Stanford's former chief financial officer, James Davis.
On Feb. 29, attorneys for both sides summarized their cases and the decision was left to the jury. The 12-person federal jury reported on Monday that it couldn't come to a unanimous decision, but then reached a verdict before noon on Tuesday after nearly four days of deliberation.
The jury found Stanford guilty on all but one count of wire fraud, involving a gift of Super Bowl tickets in 2006 to the top banking regulator in Antigua.
According to courtroom observers, Stanford sat stone-faced as the verdict was read while members of his family, including his 82-year-old mother, wept.
He faces up to 20 years in prison for the most serious charges but could be imprisoned for much longer if a judge orders his sentences be served consecutively, reports CNBC.
The New York Times reports that the nearly three-year delay in bringing Stanford to trial came about because he was severely beaten in a 2010 brawl with another federal inmate and then became addicted to prescription anti-stress drugs.
After Stanford spent a year in therapy, U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner ruled that he was fit to stand trial. The defense had said he had lost much of his memory and could not properly defend himself.