Taxpayers can rejoice that alleged Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford is no longer a public ward — at least, not when it comes to his legal defense. On Friday, U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas ruled that Stanford can now use insurance proceeds from a Lloyds of London directors and officers policy to pay his legal bills.

Until the ruling, Lloyds had refused to release the proceeds after the court-appointed receiver for Stanford’s businesses, Ralph Janvey of Dallas firm Krage & Janvey, challenged the jailed financier’s right to the D&O policy. With his assets frozen, Stanford’s criminal case was turned over in mid-September to public defender Mike Sokolow and Houston defense lawyer Kent Schaffer. Schaffer has been billing the government at the court-set rate of $110 an hour.

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