“Sir” Allen Stanford the fake billionaire gets 110 years for defrauding people of an estimated $7 billion.
Rare is the person who doesn’t enjoy a good caper flick or one about con-men. I’ve been a fan of David Mamet’s works since the early 1990s, but the Allen Stanford story is actually better than most fiction because it’s the real thing. It’s the tale of a true life con-man. Indeed it’s fascinating enough to be worthy of a book and movie. I say fascinating because while Stanford was never actually a billionaire he convinced himself in his own mind that he was. This belief enabled him to draw in both the clients and employees who then helped him to build a vast international financial services organization and allowed him to play the role of a billionaire. Talk about the power of imagination. Talk about a powerful reality distortion field.
Sadly, it was all an illusion and many innocent people lost their savings as a result of trusting him.
You can read a short BBC piece on his sentencing.
If you can find the full hour of this special on Stanford it’s worth watching. It’s from a few years ago after he was first arrested. Stanford comes across as an insecure and troubled person who attempted to compensate with delusions of grandeur. He even claimed to be related to the founder of Stanford University but the university issued a statement denying it. His knighthood wasn’t a real either but rather a purchased title from a former British colony in the Caribbean.