Cricket mogul Stanford sent to US prison hospital

Updated: Feb 16, 2011, 11:23 AM IST

Chicago: Financier and cricket mogul Allen Stanford was sent to a US prison hospital for drug addiction treatment so he can be fit to stand trial on charges of running a USD 7 billion fraud, officials said Tuesday.

A federal bureau of prisons website listed Stanford`s status as "in transit."

The flamboyant Texan was declared incompetent to stand trial last month after government psychiatrists and Stanford`s team testified that he was suffering from bouts of delirium linked to his dependency on powerful anti-anxiety medication.

They found the 60-year-old was also depressed due to a brain injury he sustained during a 2009 jailhouse brawl, and recommended he be weaned off the drug.

US District Judge David Hittner denied Stanford`s request to be released and treated at a private medical facility because he is considered a flight risk.

The judge recommended that Stanford be sent to a medical center at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, where Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff is currently serving a 150-year term for defrauding investors of $20 billion.

Stanford has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of fraud, money laundering and obstruction. He faces up to 375 years in jail if convicted.

A self-described "maverick," Stanford hit international sports headlines by creating the eponymous Stanford Super Series Twenty20 cricket competition.

The USD 20-million winner-take-all match appalled many in the cricket world by challenging the sacrosanct traditional cricket establishment.

In Antigua, he was a larger-than-life figure, the island`s largest employer and the recipient of a 2006 knighthood. But after the allegations against him surfaced, much of his support dwindled and the England and Wales Cricket Board cut ties with him.

Bureau Report