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Federal judge rejects Stanford's motion for new trial

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official website] on Thursday rejected [order] the motion for new trial [text, PDF] filed by Allen Stanford [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Judge David Hittner did not provide any reason for his ruling. The order came just one day after Stanford's lawyers argued that their client was deprived of his Sixth Amendment rights to a fair trial. Stanford's lawyers argued that the Houston community was prejudiced due to the publicity of his case via newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle and Wall Street Journal as well as Internet-based social media networks including Twitter, which affected the jurors to the detriment of their client. In addition, the lawyers argued that they were not given adequate time to review evidence to prepare defense.

On Wednesday the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the victims of Stanford's $7 million Ponzi scheme would be allowed to pursue a class action. Earlier this month Stanford was convicted [JURIST report] of defrauding victims in the US and Latin America. He was convicted on 13 of 14 charges, including conspiracy to commit wire or mail fraud, conspiracy to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] investigation, obstruction of an SEC investigation and conspiracy to commit money laundering in addition to five counts of wire fraud and five counts of mail fraud. He was acquitted on one charge of wire fraud. He may face 20 years of imprisonment. The trial against Stanford began in January after a judge ruled that he was competent to stand trial, overruling a previous ruling [JURIST reports] to the contrary. In February 2011 Stanford accused [JURIST report] several federal agents of having deprived his constitutional rights by using abusive law-enforcement methods. Stanford was first indicted [JURIST report] in 2009.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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