Federal prosecutors urged a judge on Wednesday to give Allen Stanford [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] the maximum sentence of 230 years in prison for his involvement in a $47 million Ponzi scheme. This would be the maximum sentence [Reuters report] under federal sentencing guidelines and 90 more years than Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive] received in 2009. Defense lawyers for Stanford, who has been in prison for three years, are seeking a sentence of 31 to 44 months, which could lead to his immediate release. Stanford was convicted [JURIST report] on 13 of 14 charges, including conspiracy to commit wire or mail fraud, conspiracy to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] investigation, obstruction of an SEC investigation and conspiracy to commit money laundering in addition to five counts of wire fraud and five counts of mail fraud. He was acquitted on one charge of wire fraud. Stanford's sentencing is set to take place on June 14.
In March a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas rejected [JURIST report] Stanford's motion for a new trial. Judge David Hittner did not provide any reason for his ruling. The order came just one day after Stanford's lawyers argued that their client was deprived of his Sixth Amendment rights to a fair trial. Also in March the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] that the victims of Stanford's $7 million Ponzi scheme would be allowed to pursue a class action. Earlier that month Stanford was convicted of defrauding victims in the US and Latin America. Stanford's trial began in January after a judge ruled in December that he was mentally competent [JURIST report] to stand trial.