Accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, whose attorney claims is unfit to stand trial next month, will now be examined by a government psychiatrist.
Federal prosecutors asked for the exam after Stanford's court-appointed attorney argued the Texas financier is too heavily medicated to assist in his own defense at a criminal trial scheduled for next month.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who is to preside over the trial, granted the government's motion for the exam, the results of which will be filed with the court under seal. Hittner has yet to rule on defense motions to free Stanford on bail and to schedule a competency hearing.
Stanford, 60, has been held without bail since his indictment in June, 2009, on 21 criminal counts. Stanford is accused of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme. He has pleaded not guilty, but Judge Hittner ruled he is a flight risk.
Stanford defense attorney Ali Fazel has argued in court filings that Stanford's condition is deteriorating in prison, particularly since Stanford was seriously injured in a prison altercation in 2009.