Ex-Stanford executive gets 5 years in $8.6 billion swindle
HOUSTON (AP) - The star prosecution witness in the trial of convicted Texas financier R. Allen Stanford was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for helping to bilk investors out of more than US$7 billion (S$8.6 billion) in one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in United States history.
James M. Davis had faced up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2009 to three fraud and conspiracy charges as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
"I am ashamed and I'm embarrassed," Davis said at the sentencing hearing at Houston federal court. "I've perverted what was right and I hurt thousands of investors. I betrayed their trust and also associates and neighbours and friends and my family."
Prosecutors say Stanford persuaded investors to buy certificates of deposit from his Caribbean bank, then used that money to bankroll a string of failed businesses and his own lavish lifestyle, including a fleet of private jets and yachts.