Cricket mogul Stanford sent to US prison hospital

Chicago, Feb 16 (AFP) Financier and cricket mogul AllenStanford was sent to a US prison hospital for drug addictiontreatment so he can be fit to stand trial on charges ofrunning a USD 7 billion fraud, officials said Tuesday.

A federal bureau of prisons website listed Stanford''sstatus as "in transit."

The flamboyant Texan was declared incompetent to standtrial last month after government psychiatrists and Stanford''steam testified that he was suffering from bouts of deliriumlinked to his dependency on powerful anti-anxiety medication.

They found the 60-year-old was also depressed due to abrain injury he sustained during a 2009 jailhouse brawl, andrecommended he be weaned off the drug.

US District Judge David Hittner denied Stanford''s requestto be released and treated at a private medical facilitybecause he is considered a flight risk.

The judge recommended that Stanford be sent to a medicalcenter at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, whereWall Street swindler Bernard Madoff is currently serving a150-year term for defrauding investors of20 billion.

Stanford has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of fraud,money laundering and obstruction. He faces up to 375 years injail if convicted.

A self-described "maverick," Stanford hit internationalsports headlines by creating the eponymous Stanford SuperSeries Twenty20 cricket competition.

The USD 20-million winner-take-all match appalled many inthe cricket world by challenging the sacrosanct traditionalcricket establishment.

In Antigua, he was a larger-than-life figure, theisland''s largest employer and the recipient of a 2006knighthood. But after the allegations against him surfaced,much of his support dwindled and the England and Wales CricketBoard cut ties with him. (AFP) AT

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