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Stanford unfit to face fraud trial

Friday, January 28, 2011

This week, a federal judge in Texas delayed the trial of one-time Forbes 400 billionaire Allen Stanford, who is charged with running a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Stanford currently lacks the mental capacity to assist his lawyers in his case, according to the Houston court. He's been ordered to detox from the numerous prescription pills he's been taking, with the trial delayed indefinitely in the meantime.

A look at the court order shows that not only is the alleged fraudster addicted to anti-anxiety medication, but he may be suffering from brain damage as a result of a jailhouse beating:

Although the three psychiatrists could not identify the exact cause of Stanford's diminished mental capacity, they opined it could be one or a combination of the following, reads the court order. (1) over-medication, which has led to an addiction; (2) brain damage caused by the head injury sustained in September 2009; and/or (3) Major Depressive Disorder.

Stanford has been taking the anti-anxiety and depression drugs Klonopin, Remeron and Zoloft, according to testimony cited in the court order. Hell now be forced to detox while under medical supervision, which could take up to three months.

Despite his lawyers best efforts, hell be undergoing this withdrawal at a prison hospital: the Houston court turned down his request to be moved to a private treatment center, thanks in part to the billions of dollars he accrued in his alleged fraud.

The Courts finding that Stanford is incompetent, however, does not alter the Courts finding that Stanford is a flight risk, said the order, and that no combination of conditions of pretrial release can reasonably assure his appearance at trial.

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