No trial delay for accused Ponzi schemer Stanford

Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:55pm EST

Texas billionaire Allen Stanford flashes a ''thumb up'' as he leaves the Federal courthouse in Houston, Texas June 26, 2009, in the custody of a US Marshal. REUTERS/Steve Campbell

Texas billionaire Allen Stanford flashes a ''thumb up'' as he leaves the Federal courthouse in Houston, Texas June 26, 2009, in the custody of a US Marshal.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Campbell

(Reuters) - Allen Stanford, accused of running a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme, on Wednesday lost his bid for a three-month delay in his criminal fraud trial, clearing the way for jury selection to begin on January 23.

District Judge David Hittner said the public interest in a speedy trial was "particularly acute," citing the allegations that Stanford deceived thousands of investors into buying certificates of deposit from his Antiguan bank, resulting in billions of dollars of losses.

The Houston-based judge also noted that Stanford has been in pre-trial detention for 2-1/2 years since his arrest.

"This case needs to be tried," Hittner wrote.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)

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