The man convicted of running the second-largest Ponzi scheme in history has filed a 299-page appeal in a last ditch effort to reduce or reverse his 110-year sentence. R. Allen Stanford filed his appeal last month with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit - which promptly rejected the filing and ordered Stanford to re-file a brief at least 50% shorter. A federal jury convicted Stanford of 13 fraud counts in 2012. Stanford, who has maintained his innocence since his arrest in 2009, is currently scheduled for release in April 2105.
According to Vice, Stanford's appeal devotes no less than fifteen arguments as to why his 2012 conviction should be set aside. This includes arguments that the U.S. lacked jurisdiction to bring charges against him since his bank, Stanford International Bank, was located in Antigua and thus not subject to U.S. laws. Additionally, Stanford argued that the certificates of deposit issued by Stanford International Bank could not be considered "securities" under federal securities laws. Argued Stanford, “Simply put, Stanford International Bank was regulated by—and only by—Financial Services Regulatory Commission of Antigua and Barbuda."
Stanford also argues that he was deprived of his right to a fair trial after he was found competent to stand trial despite his claims that a prison beating had irreparably impaired his memory functions and affected his ability to confer with defense lawyers. A federal judge overseeing his criminal trial found Stanford fit to stand trial after a three-day competency hearing. Stanford claimed that his injuries "profoundly affected [my] ability to communicate with [my] attorneys and prepare [my] defense.”
Despite holding more than $5 billion in approved claims, victims have received a single distribution constituting 1% of their losses to date. Many of Stanford's assets tied to his fraud remain locked up overseas and subject to competing claims by the U.S. Receiver and an overseas liquidation effort - including over $300 million located in Canada, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.