Stanford Still Can't Face Trial, Lawyer Says

Dec 1 2011 | 11:27am ET

Accused hedge fund fraudster R. Allen Stanford is still not ready to stand trial on charges he ran a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, his lawyer says.

Stanford was ruled unfit to stand trial in January. The judge in the case sent Stanford to a North Carolina prison medical complex for treatment for his depression and drug addictions, but nine months of those treatments have apparently been to no avail.

Stanford, who also may have suffered brain damage in a prison beating in 2009, was to appear in a Houston courtroom earlier this week for arraignment on charges that could send him to prison for centuries. But his lawyer, Ali Fazel, said he cannot be arraigned "until his competency status changes." And in spite of his release last month from the medical center, that status has not changed.

Last month, another lawyer for Stanford said his client "continues to suffer from short-term and long-term memory loss." That court filing led the judge in the criminal case, U.S. District Judge David Hittner, to bar the lawyer from meeting with his client until the criminal case is concluded.

It is unclear whether Stanford's trial, scheduled to begin on Jan. 20, will move forward or whether it, too, will be delayed. Stanford remains in custody in Houston.

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