TEXAN tycoon Allen Stanford, famed for bankrolling international cricket competitions in the Caribbean and the UK, was yesterday sentenced to 110 years in prison for running a $7bn (£4.5bn) Ponzi scheme.
The sentence came after 62-year old Stanford, convicted in March of 13 charges including fraud and conspiracy, denied defrauding anyone. He insisted his firm was “a real brick-and-mortar global financial empire,” which only collapsed after the US government seized its assets.
Stanford’s lawyers had asked for a sentence of just three years, while prosecutors wanted a 230-year sentence – the maximum possible sentence for his convictions.
Stanford was convicted of selling deposit certificates from his bank in Antigua. Instead of investing them, it was alleged that he used them to fund an extravagant lifestyle of yachts and private jets.
The sentence, handed down by US district judge David Hittner, marks a dramatic fall from grace for the flamboyant sponsor of Twenty20 cricket.
Listed by Forbes as the world’s 605th richest person in 2006, Stanford marked a five-year cricket sponsorship deal in typical style by arriving at Lord’s cricket ground in a black helicopter and posing for photographs with a perspex case containing $20m in cash.