Stanford Keeps Not Guilty Plea Ahead Of Trial

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News Americas, HOUSTON, Texas, Fri. Jan. 20, 2012: On Monday, January 23, the trial of the once lauded Antigua-based U.S. businessman and cricket entrepreneur, Allen Stanford, will being in a Texas courtroom.

Ahead of the trial, the once flamboyant billionaire maintained the two word mantra he has repeated since his arrest in 2009. On Wednesday, Stanford pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of fraud and other charges.

The charges include14 criminal counts of fraud, obstruction of a federal investigation and conspiracy to launder money in an alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

Stanford, 61, is accused of running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors throughout the United States and Latin America through the sale of certificates of deposit from a bank based on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

The trial comes after U.S. District Judge David Hittner last month ruled that the former financier was “competent,” to stand trial, despite objections from the defense.

“I found him competent and therefore we are ready to proceed,” the judge said, after Stanford spent eight months at a prison hospital in North Carolina to treat an addiction to a powerful anti-anxiety drug and injuries from a 2009 jailhouse fight.