(Corrects to say doctors, and not lawyer, said that Stanford may need to stay in prison hospital in eight paragraph of story published Nov. 10.)
Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- R. Allen Stanford, the indicted Texas financier, was transferred out of a prison hospital where he spent almost nine months being treated for a drug dependency acquired in jail and lingering effects from an inmate beating.
Stanford, 61, has been imprisoned as a flight risk since his June 2009 indictment on charges that he defrauded investors through an alleged Ponzi scheme built on sales of certificates of deposit sold by his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston ordered Stanford into a prison rehabilitation program for treatment of a dependence on anxiety drugs prescribed to him in prison and for evaluation of effects from a head injury he received in a jailhouse assault in September 2009.
Stanford was treated at the hospital unit at the Federal Detention Center in Butner, North Carolina, since February. He is now in the federal prison transfer facility in Oklahoma City, according to the bureau’s website. He is being moved within days to the federal facility in Houston where he was previously locked up, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the judge barred people involved in the case from discussing it publicly.
His trial, which was originally scheduled for January 2011, hasn’t yet been rescheduled.
Stanford’s criminal-defense attorney, Ali Fazel, declined to comment on his client’s current location or mental state, citing Hittner’s order against publicly discussing some aspects of the case.
‘Back in Houston’
“Once he’s back in Houston, the next thing would be either a hearing or some sort of agreement between the parties that he is competent to stand trial,” Fazel said in a phone interview yesterday. “The judge has to find him competent” before a trial date can be set, Fazel said.
A lawyer representing Stanford in a related civil suit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had said in court papers that Stanford’s doctors may require him to remain in the North Carolina hospital facility. The attorney sought an extension of a delay in the case.
“Mr. Stanford still suffers from long-term and short-term memory loss as a result of his medical treatment,” Stephen Cochell, the civil attorney, said in a Sept. 27 filing in federal court in Dallas.
Cochell, in a phone interview yesterday, said he wasn’t notified of Stanford’s transfer from the North Carolina hospital unit or given access to the most recent reports by the prison’s doctors.
“I assume his doctors have submitted a supplemental report,” Cochell said. “I’ll get a chance to talk to him when he comes back.”
The criminal case is U.S. v. Stanford, 09-cr-342, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston). The SEC case is Securities and Exchange Commission vs. Stanford International Bank, 09-cv-298, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).
--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Michael Hytha
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