BUSINESS

Judge rules financier Stanford competent to stand trial for alleged $7 billion Ponzi scheme

12/22/2011 05:25 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST
HOUSTON - A judge says jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford is mentally competent to stand trial.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner announced his ruling Thursday after a nearly three-day competency hearing in Houston federal court for the disgraced financier.

Stanford is accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme. His trial is set for Jan. 23

Stanford had been declared incompetent in January due to an anti-anxiety drug addiction he developed while jailed in Houston and was treated for eight months at a federal prison hospital in North Carolina.

Prison hospital officials said Stanford is competent for trial. However, medical experts who testified for Stanford said a brain injury the financier suffered in a jail fight has left him unable to aid his own defence.