Accused hedge fund fraudster R. Allen Stanford’s depression and drug addictions have rendered him incompetent to stand trial, a judge ruled yesterday.
A federal judge in Houston also found that Stanford suffered a brain injury during a 2009 jailhouse beating. But U.S. District Judge David Hittner rejected Stanford’s bid to be released to receive treatment.
“The court finds Stanford is incompetent to stand trial at this time based on his apparent impaired ability to rationally assist his attorneys in preparing his defense,” Hittner wrote. “The court’s finding that Stanford is incompetent, however, does not alter the court’s finding that Stanford is a risk.”
Stanford’s lawyers had asked that their client, who has been jailed since his arrest in June 2009, receive bail so that he could go to a private facility. But Hittner recommended he be sent to a federal prison facility—he specifically mentioned the Butner, N.C., prison that currently houses Bernard Madoff—to “undergo medical treatment for his current impaired mental capacity.”
Stanford is accused of swindling investors out of $7 billion. He faces up to 375 years in prison if convicted.