Thursday, January 27, 2011

Allen Stanford 'Unfit To Stand Trial' For Fraud ...

BBC reports that a US federal judge has ruled Texan billionaire Allen Stanford is ' unfit to stand trial' over his $7bn (£4.5bn) fraud scheme. District Judge David Hittner ruled that Mr Stanford 'did not have the present mental capacity' to assist his lawyers.

Well, surprise bloody surprise. Another incredibly rich man seeks to avoid jail by virtue of a mental illness. Feigned or otherwise?

Remember Ernest Saunders, anyone? The very rich convicted Guinness fraudster who was sentenced to five years imprisonment for his crimes, but released after 10 months as he was apparently suffering with Alzheimer's Disease. He later recovered, making him the only person in the world - ever - to recover from the illness. Hmmm.

Since then, Saunders has resumed a full career and worked as a business consultant, including advising mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, Harpur-Gelco, and a tax-dodging company called Seed International Ltd, based in the Cayman Islands (of course). Seems he really has made a full recovery.

Sandford has already had his knighthood revoked, and is still under investigation by the FBI for money-laundering on behalf of the Mexican drug cartel.

Standford's illness may be real, of course, but the timing is suspicious to say the least. The super-rich just don't play by the same rules as us.