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Jun 14 2012

Billionaire scam artist gets 110 years

R. Allen Standford, notorious scam artist of the Carribean, got 110 years for his massive Ponzi schemes that defrauded untold thousands of people of their hard earned savings. But that’s not the real take away from this story:

WJS – On Thursday, Mr. Stanford’s lawyers repeatedly maintained that he didn’t engage in a Ponzi scheme but made actual investments in businesses and was ruined when the government froze his assets. Prosecutors countered that it was a “blatant Ponzi scheme,” predicated on his ability to obtain more deposits and that his business collapsed when he couldn’t.

After his arrest, Mr. Stanford claimed that head trauma from a prison beating he suffered in September 2009 impaired his memory. Judge Hittner initially found him incompetent to stand trial because of his addiction to his prescribed painkillers, but in December 2011 endorsed a forensic and psychiatric report finding that Mr. Stanford had exaggerated his impairment and found him competent.

Huh, imagine that, lying his ass off and stealing right and left just for a few zillions of dollars and to avoid prison. And here I thought only the poor did stuff like that for a few hundred bucks in welfare …

So, what’s the important take away here? If conservatives are able to get their none regulatory market dreams enacted, what Stanford did wouldn’t be illegal at all.

4 comments

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  1. 1
    Anthony K

    If conservatives are able to get their none regulatory market dreams enacted, what Stanford did wouldn’t be illegal at all.

    “If you outlaw Ponzi schemes, only outlaws will have Ponzi schemes.”

  2. 2
    redpanda

    I don’t doubt that there are libertarians out there who think Ponzi schemes should be legal because “it’s not the government’s job to protect people from their own gullibility,” but is that really a reasonable thing to say about Republican cries for deregulation?

    It seems to me that fraud of this sort is illegal because it is essentially theft. If you were to invest someone’s money legitimately and it were to fail, then that’s a risk you both knowingly undertook together. But if you tell someone that you’re going to invest their money when the scheme has no hope of ever paying back into the economy and returning a profit for both of you, then you’re clearly doing little other than taking their money under false pretenses as an excuse to keep some of it for yourself.

    Given that Republican deregulation logic seems to focus around the idea that less regulation translates to larger profits and a stronger economy for all of us, why would you conflate the two like that?

  3. 3
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Because, redpanda, the financial markets have done what are essentially Ponzi schemes, and some corps in that market even ate their own dog food, refused to listen to warnings for years,and when it finally collapsed (entirely of their own doing), they get the socialist bail-out with no strings attached, don’t lend money to individuals and businesses like they were supposed to, got less regulation, cried for even less regulation, and continue to shaft people lower on the totem pole.

    This is the right wing; Republicans in office and in business. What is there to conflate?

  4. 4
    redpanda

    Ah, I see what you mean now. Thanks.

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