By Roy Denish
He was a charismatic crook.
He waltzed around the English cricket players’ wives; he entered and exited dressing rooms at his will. He was a knight and a sugar daddy. But as the old adage says, “all good things have to come to an end for better things to start.” Here in this instance, there are no better things for Allen Stanford because he will be spending 110 years behind the bars for defrauding investors for a staggering $ 7 billion.
Stanford, the Texan financier was known as “sugar daddy” because he liked the idea of throwing his weight around with crispy green notes. He once landed at the world’s Cricket headquarters in a chartered helicopter with a box full of cash: $20 million, to be exact. The cash was to be given to the winners of a 20 over cricket game between West Indies and English cricketers. When the money was handed over to the English Cricket Officials, they were dumbfounded; they didn’t suspect him to be a swindler but respected him for his ‘honest’ moves to make cricket one of the richest sports in modern history.
Stanford also wanted to pump cash into the West Indian cricket board, but the deal didn’t materialize for unknown reasons. Dejected Stanford cut a five-year deal with English cricket board that is worth $100 million.
Standford is one of the biggest employers in Antigua; he has his own private landing strip, and he was virtually worshiped by the Islanders because he had more money than the Antiguan government.
He spent the last three years in prison, and on Thursday, the prosecutors requested the judge to throw Stanford to 230 years in prison. But the defense lawyers pleaded for a lenient sentence. At the sentence hearing, Stanford made an emotional 40-minute speech and told the judge he wasn’t looking for sympathy or forgiveness and insisted that he wasn’t involved in any Ponzi scheme.
Standford, title as a knight, was stripped in 2006 after allegations he was involved in a massive racket.
Racket or bracket, he is sure to be behind bars until his death.