Washington: Texan financier Allen Stanford has been sentenced to 110 years in prison for orchestrating a USD 7 billion (GBP 4.6 billion) Ponzi scheme.
District Judge David Hittner at a Houston court on Thursday handed the sentence to the 62-year old after hearing the arguments from government prosecutors and lawyers for Stanford over more than two hours.
US authorities had initially sought a 230-year sentence for Stanford, a man they described as "a ruthless predator responsible for one of the most egregious frauds in history”.
According to The Telegraph, Stanford used the hearing to argue that "Stanford was a real brick-and-mortar global financial empire”, that only crumbled after the government accused the company of being a Ponzi scheme in 2009.
At his trial, prosecutors alleged that Stanford had constructed an elaborate fraud that promised investors handsome returns if they purchased certificates from his Stanford International Bank based on the Caribbean island of Antigua.
Instead of putting the money in the safe assets as investors were promised, a jury found the former billionaire guilty of using it to pay for an opulent lifestyle of yachts and private jets.
The sentence leaves Stanford facing the rest of his life behind bars and caps a startling fall from grace for a man, who was rated to be worth more than USD 2 billion in 2008.