Stanford's Birthday Wish: A Lawyer

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Alleged fraudster R. Allen Stanford’s seemingly endless search for a lawyer may be coming to an end. A person familiar with the securities fraud investigation against the Texas financier is considering retaining high-powered Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin to represent him.

A secretary for DeGuerin says the attorney had been contacted about representing Stanford, but declined to comment further.

DeGuerin is one of the Lone Star state’s most celebrated criminal defense lawyers. Over the years he’s represented everyone from cult leader David Koresh to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to a number of former Enron bankers. In 2003, DeGuerin shocked the legal world when he convinced a Texas jury to acquit Robert Durst, the son of a NY real estate mogul, of murder charges in a gruesome dismembering case.

Stanford, who is celebrating his 59th birthday today, hasn’t had a full-time lawyer representing him, ever since the Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with running an $8 billion Ponzi scheme last month. Dallas defense attorney Charles Meadows represented Stanford at a several court appearances in federal court, but the attorney formally withdrew from the case two weeks ago.

It’s believed Stanford, who was one of the richest men in the US before scandal toppled his Houston-baed Stanford Financial Group, has had a hard time retaining an attorney because a federal judge has frozen his assets.

To date, no criminal charges have been filed against Stanford, who has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to cooperate with the SEC investigation. Federal prosecutors, however, have filed obstruction of justice charges against Laura Pendergest-Holt, the former chief investment officer for Stanford’s firm.

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