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Accused financial swindler's mental competency at issue

Criminal court initial proceedings are underway for a Texas man who claims he is unable to remember anything about the disappearance of investors' $7 billion he oversaw because a fellow inmate caused him brain damage in late September 2009, according to the Houston Chronicle.

R. Allen Stanford, 61, former chief of the Stanford Financial Group of Houston, stands accused of defrauding investors but whether he's competent to stand trial should be decided this week. As a flight risk , his bond was revoked shortly after his June 2009 arrest. One federal specialist said he is fit to be tried and justice should take its course.

"Mr. Stanford would have a very difficult time assisting an attorney at trial," neuropsychologist Richard Lawrence Pollock testified for the defense, noting he lacks focus and is unable to pay attention, according to Reuters. "He does not have cognitive snap, sharp thinking or clear speech. He can't function on those levels right now."

Defense attorneys cite his recovery from addiction to anti-anxiety medications and the injury to his frontal lobe at the hands of another inmate as reasons why he is not competent to stand trial.

If found fit to stand trial, criminal proceedings would begin in January but defense attorneys have sought delays.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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