Prosecutors said in court filings that Mr Stanford was “a ruthless predator responsible for one of the most egregious frauds in history and he should be sentenced to the statutory maximum”. Mr Stanford was convicted in March on charges that he ran the Ponzi scheme for more than two decades.
The jury found $330m held in offshore bank accounts, including one designated the “Baby Mama Trust” for a woman who had Mr Stanford’s children, should be returned to investors.
Lawyers for Mr Stanford requested a sentence of between 31 months and 44 months, according to court filings. Prosecutors said that amounted to “time served” because Mr Stanford had been imprisoned since his 2009 arrest.
Victims of Mr Stanford’s fraud have not recovered any money. The court-appointed receiver has calculated Mr Stanford’s assets at roughly $500m, much less than the size of the alleged fraud, making a recovery for many investors unlikely.
Speaking before his sentencing, Mr Stanford denied any wrongdoing. “I’m not here to ask for sympathy or forgiveness or to throw myself at your mercy,” he told the judge. “I did not run a Ponzi scheme. I didn’t defraud anybody.”
He blamed the US government and the receiver who took over his companies for dismantling his empire. “They destroyed it and turned it to nothing.”
During the trial prosecutors presented evidence showing Mr Stanford started his scheme decades ago and used new customer funds to pay others while funding his growing personal business empire. He spent $400,000 of customer money from 2000 to 2002 to buy suits from a private clothier. He also flew a Bergdorf Goodman tailor by private jet to his homes in Miami and Antigua for measurements.
Prosecutors alleged Mr Stanford “regularly flew bottled artesian water to his home in St Croix, flew fish for his koi pond to St Croix and had a Stanford employee fly to Antigua just to bring him laptops”.
Mr Stanford bribed an accountant to sign off on his financial statements and Antiguan regulators to help obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the bank. On two occasions in 2008, prosecutors said, Mr Stanford directed the manager of his St Croix estate, “to fill empty barrels with Stanford’s bank records and other personal financial information and he then torched the documents”.
Mr Stanford “has earned a place among the greediest, most selfish and utterly remorseless criminals”, prosecutors said in court filings. His court submission was filed under seal.