Stanford denies being involved in Ponzi scheme

Stanford tells judge he did nothing wrong, denies bilking investors out of $7 billion

Associated Press
Stanford gets 110 years for role in $7B swindle
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FILE - In this March 6, 2012 file photo, R. Allen Stanford leaves the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse in Houston. Stanford, once considered one of the wealthiest people in the U.S., with a financial empire that spanned the Americas, was convicted on charges he bilked investors out of more than $7 billion. The 62-year-old is set to be sentenced by a Houston federal judge on Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Nick de la Torre, File)

HOUSTON (AP) -- Former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, convicted in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history, has told a judge he did nothing wrong.

In a rambling statement Thursday, Stanford claimed he was a scapegoat. He blamed the federal government and a U.S. appointed receiver who took over his companies, saying they tore down his business empire and prevented his investors from getting any of their money back.

Stanford's comments came during his sentencing hearing on 13 fraud-related counts. Prosecutors say he bilked investors out of $7 billion.

Speaking for more than 40 minutes, Stanford told a judge he's "not here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness."

Prosecutors want a 230-year prison term, the maximum possible sentence.

Stanford's attorneys are asking for a maximum of 44 months.

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