Stanford Ponzi Scheme Trial Set for September 12
The long awaited trial of accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford has been set for September 12, according to a new scheduling order issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston.
Stanford's trial had been set for January, but was postponed indefinitely after he became addicted to prescription drugs while in prison, and Hittner ruled he was incompetent to stand trial.
Since February, Stanford has been undergoing drug treatment at a prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina. His court-appointed attorney, Ali Fazel, would not comment on Stanford's condition, citing a gag order in the case.
The setting of a new trial date is the latest in a fast-moving series of events in the case.
Last week, a federal grand jury in Houston returned a new indictment against Stanford, reducing the number of counts he faces to 14 from 21, and removing four co-defendants from the case. They are to be tried separately.
Following the new indictment, Fazel informed the court that his client could not be arraigned on the revised charges since Stanford had been ruled incompetent.
But Hittner set the new schedule anyway, noting that the new indictment has "no basic changes in the relevant counts."
Stanford investors have been critical of delays in the case. With the criminal charges unresolved, most of his assets are in foreign accounts, off limits to U.S. authorities.