Jailed financier Stanford hospitalized

By Associated Press
August 28, 2009

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HOUSTON - Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, jailed on charges of bilking investors out of $7 billion, was hospitalized yesterday with an irregular heartbeat and a fast pulse, just hours before his former finance chief became the first person to plead guilty in the case.

Stanford was set to appear in federal court in Houston for a hearing on whether he can get a new attorney. His current lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, has asked for permission to quit the case because he does not have assurances he will be paid.

In the same courtroom, Stanford’s former finance chief, James M. Davis, pleaded guilty to three counts: conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and securities fraud; mail fraud; and conspiracy to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Davis’s attorney, David Finn, said his client has been cooperating with prosecutors for the past six months and the guilty plea is part of a deal with the Justice Department in exchange for a possible reduced sentence.

Davis faces up to 30 years in prison. While a sentencing date of Nov. 20 has been scheduled, Finn said he believes that will be delayed.

Stanford, Davis, and others from the defunct Stanford Financial Group are accused of orchestrating a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

DeGuerin said Stanford was taken from the privately run prison where he is being held near Houston at about 5:30 a.m. yesterday to Conroe Regional Medical Center. A spokeswoman declined to release any information.