Long before the feds got him, corrupt Texas financier Allen Stanford was persona non grata in the circles of U.S. diplomats, according to cables released by WikiLeaks, the Guardian reported.
Diplomats were so concerned about the rumors of “bribery, money-laundering and political manipulation” surrounding Stanford that they avoided contac with him or being photographed with him more than two years before his arrest by the FBI for allegedly bilking investors of $7 billion in a huge Ponzi scheme.
The writer of one May 2006 cable emphasizes that an encounter between Stanford and the U.S. ambassador at a breakfast meeting in Barbados was a coincidence.
“Embassy officers do not reach out to Stanford because of the allegations of bribery and money-laundering. The ambassador managed to stay out of any one-on-one photos with Stanford during the breakfast,” the cable says.
Prosecutors in the case currently express doubt about the claims of Stanford’s defense attorneys that he is incompetent to stand trial.
Attorneys said Stanford’s “drastically deteriorating” mental, emotional and physical health is preventing him from helping them prepare for his trial, scheduled to begin on Jan. 24. Prosecutors asked a judge on Monday for a second opinion.
“A second examination is especially warranted in this case because Stanford’s conduct to date indicates a thorough understanding of the legal proceedings and thus casts significant doubt on the opinion of the defense-selected doctor,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Costa wrote.
Photos emerged last month showing Stanford with his neck in a brace and his head bandaged after he was beaten by jail inmates. Those photos were apparently from Sept. 2009. Stanford has had a number of health problems in jail including a non-life-threatening aneurysm in his leg in addition to the injuries from the fight, according to the Associated Press.