Allen Stanford, the American billionaire who invested in cricket in the Caribbean, has been deemed unfit to stand trial on charges of running a $7 billion fraud and needs treatment for a drug addiction, a US judge has ruled.
Stanford is facing charges of fraud, money laundering and obstruction but the court has ruled him incompetent to face trial. He sustained an injury after being attacked in jail in 2009 and has become addicted to the medication he was prescribed for treating depression and anxiety.
"The court finds Stanford is incompetent to stand trial at this time based on his apparent impaired ability to rationally assist his attorneys in preparing his defense," US District Judge David Hittner wrote in his ruling in Houston, Texas.
Hittner denied a request by Stanford's lawyers to release him on bond and place him in a private treatment facility for his addiction, ordering him instead to be committed to the custody of the attorney general to "undergo medical treatment for his current impaired mental capacity" and eventually take a competency exam. The judge also recommended that Stanford be sent to a medical facility within the US Bureau of Prisons.
Stanford became famous in the cricket world after creating the Stanford 20/20 tournament in the West Indies. He then, in partnership with the ECB, launched a Stanford Super Series Twenty20 cricket competition with his All-star team from the West Indies taking on England in a $20-million winner-take-all match.
Stanford has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of fraud, money laundering and obstruction. He faces up to 375 years in jail if convicted.