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Stanford Jury Deadlocked, but Told to Keep Deliberating

HOUSTON—The jury in the Allen Stanford fraud trial said Monday it is deadlocked, but the judge told the jury to continue deliberating.

Allen Stanford
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Allen Stanford

"We are unable to reach a unanimous verdict on all the counts," the jury said in a note to U.S. District Judge David Hittner.

Stanford is on trial in federal court in Houston accused of running a $7.1 billion Ponzi scheme.

Hittner said he would instruct the jury to keep trying to reach a verdict.

Known as an "Allen charge" or "dynamite charge," it essentially tells the jury that in light of the resources already expended on the trial, they should continue deliberating.

"We are going to ask you continue deliberations," Hittner told the jury, noting that the case is both important and expensive. "Another trial will increase cost to both sides."

"Ask yourself if the evidence is enough or if the doubt you have is a reasonable one," Hittner said. "Take all the time you think is necessary."

The apparent deadlock comes on the third full day of deliberations in the case. Deliberations have ended for Monday and are scheduled to resume at 10:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

Stanford, who will turn 62 later this month, is accused of running a 20-year scheme, "soliciting funds under false pretenses, failing to invest those funds as promised, (and) misappropriating funds for personal use," according to the grand jury indictment.

The trial is being closely watched by Stanford's 28,000 investors, since it represents their best chance of recovering any substantial portion of their losses.

Federal prosecutors sought to seize some $7 billion in assets, as well as the contents of 35 mostly offshore accounts. Since a federal judge placed Stanford's companies in receivership in 2009, investors have recovered just pennies on the dollar.

Once listed by Forbes as the 205th richest American, Stanford was said to be worth more than $2 billion before the authorities moved in. He was a major contributor to both Republican and Democratic politicians.