HOUSTON -- Former jet-setting Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford had plenty of things to say Thursday before a federal judge sentenced him to 110 years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $7 billion over two decades.
An apology was not one of them.
In a defiant, rambling statement that lasted more than 40 minutes, Stanford told the court about the injuries he suffered during a prison fight; criticized the government for its "gestapo tactics" when his companies were put in receivership and their assets sold off to pay back investors; described his financial empire as a victim of the 2008 credit collapse; and recalled riding horses with former President George W. Bush.
"I am and will always be at peace with the way I conducted myself in business," he said before the judge handed down the sentence.
Prosecutors said Stanford, 62, used the money from investors who bought certificates of deposit, or CDs, from his bank on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua to fund a string of failed businesses, bribe regulators and pay for a lavish lifestyle that included yachts, a fleet of private jets and sponsorship of cricket tournaments. The one-time billionaire was convicted in March on 13 of 14 fraud-related counts in one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.
Houston retiree Sandra Dorrell, who lost over $1 million in the fraud, said Stanford's statement to the court shows the financier cares only about himself and will never admit any wrongdoing.
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