A federal judge has ruled that alleged Ponzi-schemer Allen Stanford is too “incompetent to stand trial,” Dealbook reports.
Judge David Hittner has ordered Stanford be treated for drug addiction at a federal prison hospital.
Stanford’s lawyers wanted him treated at a private hospital, saying federal medics were the cause of his drug addiction in the first place, but the judge said he was a flight risk.
One of the prison hospitals the judge suggested might be suitable for Stanford is the Federal Medical centre in Butner, N.C. Aka: the jail where Bernie Madoff is incarcerated.
Hittner said Stanford “lacks the mental capacity to effectively assist his attorneys in preparing his defence in this time.”
The judge also made a special point of saying that he’s not convinced that this isn’t some elaborate ploy by Stanford to get released on bond, writing:
It is not lost on the court that Stanford’s motion to be released to a local mental facility for treatment may be yet another attempt by Stanford to be released on bond. The court’s finding that Stanford is incompetent, however, does not alter the court’s finding that Stanford is a flight risk and that no combination of conditions of pretrial release can reasonably assure his appearance at trial.
Though there is a consensus on both sides that Stanford is definitely impaired, doctors are debating whether it’s because of his addiction to anti-anxiety meds, or because of brain damage caused when he was beaten up by another inmate last year.
In fact the judge also decreed that he wanted Stanford’s head injury be evaluated for possible further treatment.