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Knighted man loses title to allegations of fraud

A 61-year-old man lost his coveted knighthood title from Antiqua after he was arrested and convicted of fraud and several other charges. Some of the charges include conspiracy and obstructing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation into the matter. The U.S. government closed the man's empire in February 2009 and arrested him in June 2009. In his 2012 trial, the government found him guilty on 13 of 14 criminal counts. The man is expected to appeal the government's decision.

The man could face up to 200 years in prison if the government decides to sentence him with consecutive sentences. Alternatively, he could serve about 20 years if the government decides to give him concurrent sentences. The government accused the man of using a bank that he owned as a personal ATM machine. The bank was located in Antiqua. The man was a philanthropist in Antiqua. He also sponsored the country's national sport, cricket. The country knighted him in 2006, but recently stripped him of his knighthood and seized assets located in the country.

In February 2009, when his bank's CDs became questionable, investors tried to withdraw their money. The government shut down the bank's U.S. headquarters on Feb. 17, 2009.

During the trial, a former aide testified against the man and alleged that the man falsified documents. The defense attorney ruined the credibility of the former aide by making him admit to lying. The defense testified that the man was not involved in his business's daily activities and blamed the former aide for the fraudulent transactions. The former aide went to Baylor University with the man, and made the aide the CFO of the bank in Antigua.

Fraud allegations are serious, and can result in steep penalties. It is important for those facing these charges to act quickly to protect their rights.

Source: Washington Times, "Financier Stanford convicted in $7 billion fraud," Juan A. Lozano, March 6, 2012.

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