Stanford getting new lawyer: a public defender

- - Visto 490 veces

R. Allen Stanford, right, arrives at the federal courthouse on Tuesday for his fraud case.

Fallen billionaire R. Allen Stanford, his assets frozen and his company’s insurance refusing to pay, was appointed an attorney from the federal public defender’s office Tuesday.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Hittner asked Dick DeGuerin if he still wished to withdraw and he did, having not been paid for months of work and having been told by Stanford that he wanted lawyers from Washington, D.C., to take over.

The judge asked Stanford if he currently has any funds to pay a lawyer and Stanford said he didn’t know.

“I’ll take that as a no,” said Hittner, who ordered Marjorie Meyers, the head of the federal public defender’s office in Houston, to take the case.

Stanford stayed seated in the jury box while he spoke to the judge.

Stanford wore orange prison garb and was chained at his hands and feet. He frequently glanced over to a front row with some family members and supporters.

Hittner ended the brief court session saying: “The man needs an attorney, he’s got an attorney. We’re going to get this case to trial.”

As DeGuerin left the courtroom, he wished his former client good luck.

The relationship between the famed criminal defense lawyer and his client, the former cricket king and high-flying world traveler, included DeGuerin trying to turn Stanford over to authorities before he was charged to show he was not hiding.

It also included a scuffle in DeGuerin’s office with a local civil lawyer who wanted a role in Stanford’s defense.

Stanford faces 21 counts of conspiracy, fraud, bribery and obstruction of justice. He and codefendants are accused of bilking investors in a $7 billion fraud involving certificates of deposit issued by an Antiguan bank that was part of the Stanford Financial Group.

Stanford’s personal assets were all frozen along with company assets in a February civil lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Stanford is not the first formerly wealthy person to wind up indigent with a publicly paid defense lawyer.

Defendants in several Houston cases arising from the savings and loan failures of the 1980s had public defenders, but in those cases the executives simply ran out of money.

Meyers said Michael Sokolow from her office will be the lead attorney. She said she hopes Hittner will add criminal defense attorney Kent Schaffer to the case as well.

Schaffer is a longtime attorney in Houston with a federal and state practice who has handled numerous high-profile trials and has represented former U.S. Rep. Craig Washington, oilman Oscar Wyatt, author Clifford Irving and the late Houston Astros star Ken Caminiti.

An attorney from the Washington office of law firm Patton Boggs, which Stanford has said he wishes to hire, was in court Tuesday but had no role in the hearing.

That firm announced it would replace DeGuerin months ago but wanted assurances it will be paid before entering the case. Patton Boggs lawyers also unsuccessfully tried to get Hittner tossed from the case.

Several other defendants in the case have asked Hittner to stop criminal proceedings against them or order an insurance company to pay the lawyers.

Dan Cogdell, lawyer for former chief investment officer Laura Pendergest-Holt, whose assets are frozen, asked the judge to make Lloyd’s of London pay as it once promised to do.

He said he’s put in seven months and is about $500,000 behind in receivables.

“I’ve never withdrawn from a case for financial reasons, but it could come to that. I can’t go into bankruptcy because of this,” Cogdell said.

He said he’s reviewed more than 250,000 documents, incurred $60,000 in copying costs alone and put off other clients because of this case.

“I doubt a lawyer’s plight will engender sympathy from your readers,” he said. “But the insurance carriers really need to keep their promises.”

Lloyd’s has asked Hittner to let the Dallas judge on the SEC case decide what happens to the insurance.

Ralph Janvey, receiver in the SEC case appointed by the Dallas judge, also asked Hittner to let the Dallas judge decide what insurance will pay for criminal defense lawyers.

Janvey, who has been approved for some $20 million in fees, has laid claim to some of the insurance funds as company assets.

If the insurance company starts to pay for criminal defense lawyers in the case, it is possible Stanford would then have the money to pay DeGuerin for his work and to hire Patton Boggs for future work.

In the meantime, Meyers said, the Stanford case is pretty much the biggest one she and her staff of six lawyers in Houston are handling.


Deja tu Comentario

A fin de garantizar un intercambio de opiniones respetuoso e interesante, se reserva el derecho a eliminar todos aquellos comentarios que puedan ser considerados difamatorios, vejatorios, insultantes, injuriantes o contrarios a las leyes a estas condiciones. Los comentarios no reflejan la opinión de, sino la de los internautas, y son ellos los únicos responsables de las opiniones vertidas. No se admitirán comentarios con contenido racista, sexista, homófobo, discriminatorio por identidad de género o que insulten a las personas por su nacionalidad, sexo, religión, edad o cualquier tipo de discapacidad física o mental.

El tamaño máximo de subida de archivos: 300 MB. Puedes subir: imagen, audio, vídeo, documento, hoja de cálculo, interactivo, texto, archivo, código, otra. Los enlaces a YouTube, Facebook, Twitter y otros servicios insertados en el texto del comentario se incrustarán automáticamente. Suelta el archivo aquí

Artículos Relacionados: