Allen Stanford, the Texas financier convicted of masterminding a $7 billion fraud involving certificates of deposit in his Antiguan bank, tried to argue that his banking disclosures complied with International Financial Reporting Standards, but that didn’t convince the jury.
Stanford’s CFO, James Davis, a longtime friend since they attended college, testified that he was aware Stanford was committing fraud, but he admitted that he did nothing to prevent him. Davis had pled guilty to fraud charges back in 2009, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, and subsequently spent five days on the witness stand talking about the offshore bank’s complicated finances.
Even if Stanford’s Antigua-based bank technically complied with international accounting standards, that did not stop him from spending investor money on the cricket tournaments he loved to attend, nor on the yachts he sailed, nor the luxurious island resort and other failed business ventures he wanted to fund.
Stanford’s defense team accused his former CFO of being a liar, but that did not prevent the jury from convicting him Tuesday of 13 out of 14 counts, including wire fraud and mail fraud. A CPA with 50 years' experience testified on the stand that the annual reports of Stanford International Bank showed no evidence of fraudulent accounting, according to local Texas radio station KUHF FM, and that it was appropriate for the bank to have switched from U.S. GAAP to IFRS, as it was based in Antigua. However, under cross-examination, he admitted that he lacked IFRS certification.
Only four years ago, Stanford landed a spot on the Forbes list of the wealthiest Americans, with a net worth of $2.2 billion. At his trial, however, he was declared indigent after prosecutors froze his funds.
Now his former investors are hoping to recover the $7 billion lost on the CDs his bank peddled.
The court must now determine how much of Stanford’s remaining $300 million in assets can now be distributed to his cheated investors. Chances are they won’t rely on international accounting standards to decide that question.
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