International financier R. Allen Stanford has been sentenced to 110 years in federal prison for masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme. In a statement before the court that lasted more than a half an hour, Stanford said, “I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme, I didn’t defraud anybody, and there was never any intent to defraud anybody.” Stanford’s sentence is 40 years shorter than the term Bernie L. Madaoff received in 2009 for orchestrating a $17.3 billion Ponzi scheme. Stanford’s lawyers contend that their client invested in real businesses and would have been able to repay investors but for the government’s intervention. Stanford, 62, is a native of Texas who started out owning a gym before eventually based his Stanford International Bank on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean.
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