R. Allen Stanford sentenced for Ponzi scheme

HOUSTON (AP) -- Former Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford has been sentenced to 110 years in prison for orchestrating one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

   The sentence was handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston.

   The financier learned his fate during a court hearing in which two people spoke on behalf of investors about their losses.

   A jury in March convicted the 62-year-old Stanford on 13 of 14 fraud-related counts for taking more than $7 billion from investors.

   The jury also cleared the way for U.S. authorities to seize millions in bank accounts connected to Stanford.

   Prosecutors say Stanford orchestrated a 20-year scheme that took billions through the sale of certificates of deposit from his Caribbean bank.

   Stanford's attorneys argued he was a legitimate businessman.

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