Acadiana Business

Stanford trial starts Monday

by Heather Miller

Follow the Houston trial of alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Allen Stanford through Twitter or blog updates at The Houston Chronicle's website.

The man accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion, a billion dollars of which is believed to have come from investors in South Louisiana, is starting trial today in Houston.

It's been three years since Allen Stanford was arrested for what one law professor called a "Ponzi scheme on steroids," which brought countless investors to their knees after counting local individual losses that ranged from $50,000 to upwards of $7.5 million.

According to a report from The San Antonio Express-News website, Stanford's trial was delayed a year to allow the defendant to be treated for an addiction to pain killers that spawned from a head injury he incurred during a jailhouse fight.

Stanford's Ponzi saga caused unprecedented action from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which in December sued the Securities Investor Protection Corp. to force it to cover losses for investors who bought into the fraudulent deal.

In March of last year, Baton Rouge attorney Edward Gonzales filed suit against the SEC for negligence and misconduct on behalf of nine Lafayette area investors. He's seeking roughly $66 million. The local plaintiffs listed in the suit and the investments they are seeking to recover are Robert Juan Dartez LLC, $638,000; David B. Sturlese, $696,000; Cynthia R. Dore (who also resides in Houston), $3.09 million; Randolph J. Hebert, $7.2 million; Robert Hollier of Opelousas, $4.8 million; Hollam Pinnacle Group LLC of Opelousas, $571,000; Michael R. Robicheaux and Cheryl T. Robicheaux of Breaux Bridge, $1.6 million; and Brittany Robicheaux of Breaux Bridge, $52,000.

According to the San Antonio news website, Houston Chronicle Reporter Terri Langford will cover the Stanford trial via Twitter. You can follow her updates at via the hashtag #stanfordtrial, or visit

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