Stanford Officer to Plead Guilty

John Ellis Bush June 18, 2012

Stanford Financial Group's top investment executive, Laura Pendergest-Holt, is expected to plead guilty to obstruction of justice Thursday for her alleged role in a $7 billion Ponzi scheme that was among the largest frauds in U.S. history, a person familiar with the case said.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined comment.

The expected plea by Ms. Pendergest-Holt, Stanford's chief investment officer, follows the sentencing last week of convicted Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford to 110 years in prison.

That punishment amounts to a life sentence for Mr. Stanford, 62 years old, who for years enjoyed the life of a billionaire aboard jets, yachts and in homes around the globe.

He remains in federal custody until the U.S. Bureau of Prisons decides where he will serve the time.
Laura Pendergest-Holt
A Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas had alleged that Ms. Pendergest-Holt misled Securities and Exchange Commission investigators who took her testimony in the probe of alleged fraud at Stanford International Bank, Mr. Stanford's Antigua-based offshore bank.

Ms. Pendergest-Holt was scheduled to go on trial in September.

An obstruction charge can carry a three-year sentence.


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