Accused fraudster Allen Stanford must remain in jail pending his trial, a federal appeals court said Monday. A federal judge in Houston ruled in June that Stanford, indicted on 21 criminal counts in an alleged $8 billion dollars, was a flight risk.
A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling late Monday, rejecting Stanford's argument that U.S. District Judge David Hittner abused his discretion in revoking Stanford's bail.
"Stanford's arguments are without merit," the panel ruled in a ten-page decision, saying Hittner "properly took into account the daunting sentence" Stanford faces if convicted.
In appealing the ruling, Stanford claimed he had ties to the community in Houston, and noted that other white collar defendants have been allowed to remain free on bond pending their trial. But the appeals court agreed with the district judge that Stanford's ties to the community are tenuous at best.
"While Stanford did grow up in Texas, he has spent the last 15 years abroad," the opinion says, noting that unlike the other white collar defendants, Stanford maintains dual citizenship in the United States and Antigua.
Stanford's criminal attorney of record, Dick DeGuerin, who has asked to be removed from the case because he has not been paid, told CNBC he has no further responsibility for the appeal. Washington attorney Robert Luskin hopes to replace DeGuerin. A spokesperson for Luskin's firm, Patton Boggs in Washington, said they are reviewing the appeals court order and weighing their options.
Stanford is being held at a federal detention center north of Houston. Hittner has previously denied Stanford's motions to be moved to a facility closer to Houston, and to retain a new attorney.