Stanford being moved from site of Texas jail fight

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by Associated Press

wfaa.com

Posted on September 28, 2009 at 9:04 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 6:17 PM

HOUSTON - Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, awaiting trial on charges he ran a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, will be moved from the lockup where he got into a jail fight that resulted in him being hospitalized for a concussion.

But U.S. District Judge David Hittner's order, issued Friday and made public Monday, is not connected to Stanford's Sept. 24 fight with another inmate, said Kent Schaffer, one of Stanford's court-appointed attorneys.

Hittner ordered Stanford to be moved from the Joe CorleyDetention Facility in Conroe, north of Houston, to the Federal

Detention Center in downtown Houston.

The judge granted a request, filed last week before the fight, by Stanford's attorneys, who said the Corley facility interfered with their ability to meet with their client and review the large number of records in the case.

"The Court recognizes the extraordinary nature and complexity of this case, the extent and gravity of the charges levied against Stanford, the hundreds of records involved, and the enormous amount of time no doubt necessary to review those documents and adequately prepare a defense," Hittner wrote.

Hittner ordered that Stanford be moved no later than Thursday.

Schaffer said Stanford was very pleased with Hittner's order.

"Visitor rooms for attorneys in the (downtown) detention center are better suited to being able to sit down with clients and prepare," he said.

Schaffer said his client, who he visited Monday, is still in physical pain from the concussion, two black eyes, broken nose and cut on his forehead that he suffered during the fight. Stanford was returned to the lockup Sunday afternoon.

"He's in better spirits than what I would have expected him to be," said Schaffer, who added that he does not know what started the fight.

Stanford, 59, has been in the Corley facility since he was indicted in June on 21 counts, including wire and mail fraud. He has been jailed without bond; Hittner considers him a flight risk.

Stanford and other executives of the now-defunct Houston-based Stanford Financial Group are accused of orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme by advising clients to invest more than $7 billion in certificates of deposit from the Stanford International Bank on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Investors were promised their investments were safe and were scrutinized by Antigua's bank regulator and an independent auditor.

But authorities say Stanford and the indicted executives fabricated the bank's balance sheets, bribed Antiguan regulators and misused investors' money to pay for his lavish lifestyle.

Stanford and three former company executives have pleaded not guilty.

Another former executive, James M. Davis, has pleaded guilty in the case and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Stanford's next court hearing is Oct. 14.

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