R. Allen Stanford is perhaps not as well known as Bernie Madoff, but the two men have one thing in common — both received long sentences for their roles in orchestrating two of the largest Ponzi schemes ever. Stanford, an international financier, was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison for his part in a $7-billion fraud. The former Texas billionaire was found guilty earlier this year of bilking roughly 30,000 investors over two decades.

Prosecutors were unsuccessful in their effort to have Sanford sentenced to 230 years. The sentence he received is 40 years shorter than the 150 years Madoff got. As you may recall, Madoff swindled his investors out of $65 billion, making it the largest financial fraud in history.

— Posted by Tracy Bloom

The Miami Herald

His downfall marks the end of his rise from humble roots in Texas to one of the richest people in the United States.

Three years ago, The Miami Herald found that Stanford made a deal with Florida regulators allowing him to open a special trust office without regulation. His office sold $800 million in bogus certificate of deposits, mainly to South American investors. Checks were sent to Antigua and records were destroyed.

Calling Stanford arrogant and remorseless, prosecutors said he used the money from those investors to fund a string of failed businesses, bribe regulators and pay for a lavish lifestyle that included yachts, a fleet of private jets and sponsorship of cricket tournaments.

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