'A charismatic dictator': friend's verdict on Allen Stanford
Friday 03 February 2012
Allen Stanford ruled as a "charismatic dictator" by using "money, flattery, intimidation and fear" to carry out a $7 billion investment fraud, the businessman's former finance chief told a court in Houston, Texas, yesterday.
Jason Davis, once a college roommate of Stanford, gave evidence against his former boss having pleaded guilty in 2009 to aiding him in the alleged Ponzi scheme.
Facing 30 years in prison for his own part in the crime, Davis said that he had realised as long ago as 1991 that the business he was working for was based on a scam, yet he aided Stanford because he wanted to "please" him. "I was proud, embarrassed. I was a coward," he admitted.
On the most dramatic day of the trial so far, Davis testified that he began discussing the significant gap between what the Stanford International Bank owed its investors and the actual value of its assets one year later.
But his employer reassured him "the bank was going to grow and dwarf this small amount that was so-called missing," he said, claiming Stanford, pictured, believed they would be able to "close that hole".
Having pleaded not guilty, Stanford's defence is that he was merely the gregarious front for the business, and that he was unaware of its illegal and flawed model because Davis, as the man in charge of the accounts, misled him. However, Davis said that Stanford had even joked that he would use this defence if they were ever caught, telling him: "I'll tell them you were on the books and I was out building my companies... I'll just blame it all on you."
Nevertheless, he stayed on as chief financial officer, refusing even to trust his secrets with his wife. "I believed in Mr Stanford – wrongfully so, regrettably so, God forgive me so," he said yesterday. "But I continued to stay there and lie with him."
Davis said that at one point the pair did not speak for three months, but that their relationship could also be the stuff of Hollywood – such as when Stanford took him for a ride in his new Mercedes Benz at 170mph.
Their bank, which collapsed at the cost of investments from thousands of people around the world, had been based in the Caribbean – first in Montserrat and then in Antigua – in order to avoid the oversight of US regulators, Davis told the jury.
He added that Stanford had even agreed to "codify" an agreement which would shield the bank from scrutiny with Antigua's main banking regulator, Leroy King. "Mr Stanford said they actually cut themselves and had a blood oath," said Davis, to the apparent surprise of Stanford in the dock.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...