HOUSTON – Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, indicted on charges alleging he swindled investors out of $7 billion, could find out Monday if he will be freed on a $500,000 bond or stay locked up until his trial.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner was set to hold a hearing to listen to arguments from federal prosecutors that Stanford, who holds Antiguan citizenship and may have access to hidden vast wealth, is a flight risk.
But Dick DeGuerin, Stanford's attorney, says his client is broke, has never tried to flee and wants to fight the charges against him.
The once high-flying financier and three executives of Houston-based Stanford Financial Group were accused June 18 of orchestrating a massive fraud by misusing most of the $7 billion they advised clients to invest in certificates of deposit from the Stanford International Bank in the Caribbean island of Antigua.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy granted Stanford's bond last week and also ordered GPS monitoring and home detention.
But Hittner, who is presiding over Stanford's case, granted a prosecution request to delay Stacy's order until he can review the decision and rule on whether Stanford's bond should be revoked.
Court records show the $100,000 in cash that needed to be given for Stanford's bond had been paid.
The money for the bond came from his family and friends. Stanford was once considered one of the richest men in America with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion. But DeGuerin said his client is now broke as authorities have seized all his assets, including his underwear and socks.
Last week Stanford and executives Laura Pendergest-Holt, Gilberto Lopez and Mark Kuhrt pleaded not guilty to charges filed in a 21-count indictment.
Jury selection in the trial of Stanford and the others was set for Aug. 25 but will likely be delayed.
Also indicted is Leroy King, the former chief executive officer of Antigua's Financial Services Regulatory Commission. King is free on bond but under house arrest as the Caribbean island processes a request for his extradition to the United States.
King is accused of accepting more than $100,000 in bribes to turn a blind eye to irregularities.
Stanford and his co-defendants are charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Stanford, Pendergest-Holt and King are also charged with conspiring to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and obstruction of an SEC investigation.
Investigators say even as Stanford claimed healthy returns for investors, he was secretly diverting more than $1.6 billion in personal loans to himself.
The indictment also says Stanford and the other executives misrepresented the Antigua island bank's financial condition, its investment strategy and how it was regulated.
The SEC filed a lawsuit in February accusing Stanford and his top executives of committing crimes similar to those in the indictment.