Prosecutor: Stanford flushed away investor funds

HOUSTON,TX. (AP) - A federal prosecutor says Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford flushed away investor funds on yachts and businesses that were money pits as part of a massive Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutor William Stellmach said Wednesday that Stanford lined his pockets "with billions of dollars of other people's money" as closing arguments got under way in Stanford's fraud trial.

Prosecutors allege Stanford bilked investors out of more than $7 billion through the sales of certificates of deposit from his Caribbean bank.

Stanford's attorneys are to make their closing arguments later Wednesday.

They claim his ex-chief financial officer was behind the alleged fraud and the financier's business empire was legitimate.

If convicted, the one-time billionaire could be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. His trial began in Houston Jan. 23.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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