R. Allen Stanford, the Houston financier who faces federal criminal charges related to an alleged conspiracy to defraud investors, has another new lawyer.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas signed an order adding Houston criminal defense attorney Kent A. Schaffer, a partner in Bires & Schaffer, to Stanford's defense team.
On Sept. 15, after determining Stanford does not have immediate access to money to pay for lawyers, Hittner granted a motion to allow Dick DeGuerin, a partner in DeGuerin & Dickson of Houston, to withdraw as Stanford's attorney, and then appointed the federal public defender's office to defend Stanford.
In the order appointing Schaffer, Hittner found because this is an "extremely difficult case," it is necessary to appoint another attorney in the interest of justice.
Schaffer said following the hearing on Sept. 15 that Marjorie Meyers, the federal public defender for the Southern District, would ask Hittner to allow him to join the defense team. But Hittner didn't sign the order until Sept. 17.
Stanford has been in custody since June, after he pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges related to an alleged conspiracy to defraud investors who bought about $7 billion in certificates of deposit sold through Stanford International Bank Ltd. Stanford is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud; seven counts of wire fraud; 10 counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment also charges him with one count of conspiracy to obstruct a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and one count of obstruction of an SEC investigation. He has pleaded not guilty.
This article first appeared on Tex Parte Blog.