The punishment amounts to an effective life sentence for Stanford, who is 62 years old and used to live extravagantly aboard yachts, jets and homes around the world.
“I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme, I didn’t defraud anybody and there was never any intent to defraud anybody,” Stanford, wearing a green prison jumpsuit, told US District Court Judge David Hittner before he was sentenced.
In a rambling statement, marked with long pauses as he choked up and wiped away tears,Stanford accused the government of using “Gestapo tactics” and blamed it for the billions of dollars in losses to his investors.
Stanford’s sentence was 40 years less than the prison term given to Bernard Madoff, but 100 years more than his lawyers had asked for.
The sentence ends the three-year criminal prosecution of Stanford, who in March was convicted by a federal jury on 13 of 14 counts including fraud, obstructing investigators and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Though investors continue to seek hundreds of millions of dollars from Stanford in a civil proceeding, the end of the criminal case closes a chapter on one of the most flamboyant figures in the annals of white-collar crime.