|Allen Stanford has been deemed 'unfit' for trial.|
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A federal judge has declared Allen Stanford "unfit" to stand trial on charges of running a Ponzi scheme and ordered him to undergo treatment for his drug addiction.
"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," U.S. District Judge David Hittner said in his ruling in Houston. "The court's finding that Stanford is incompetent, however, does not alter the court's finding that Stanford is a flight risk." Stanford's trial, which was originally scheduled to begin this week, has been postponed per Hittner's orders that Stanford, 60, be released to a private hospital, run by the U.S. prison system, to receive treatment for his addiction to anti-anxiety medication. Hittner also ordered that Stanford be evaluated after suffering a number of injuries in a 2009 jailhouse assault. Hittner has recommended that Stanford be sent to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons medical facility for the evaluation and a competency exam. Stanford has been in prison since June 2009 when he was indicted on charges he led a $7 billion Ponzi scheme using his Antiguan bank. Stanford has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of securities fraud, money laundering and obstruction. He faces up to 375 years in jail if convicted. --Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Theresa McCabe. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to @TheresaMcCabe. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.