Which criminal will be more believable?
Their names are R. Allen Stanford (on the right) and James M. Davis (on the left). They used to be friends at college and builders of a financial empire. But the empire collapsed when it was found to be a fraud – a Ponzi scheme that promised extravagant returns backed by non-existent investments. When the case goes to trial they’re going to attack each other.
Mr. Davis made a plea deal and will testify against Mr. Stanford, who he says was the architect of the scheme. Mr. Stanford has pleaded not guilty. The question is, who will the jury believe?
"It’s very similar to an organized crime or Mafia case," said Adam Gershowitz, a professor of criminal law at the University of Houston, "where you have friends who go back years and have worked together for years and one turns on the other to save his own skin."
It doesn’t look good for Mr. Stanford. Mr. Gershowitz again, on the testimony of Mr. Davis:
"When you got a guy who says ‘I was in the room and I can tell you exactly what happened,’ it’s a lot easier for a jury to understand and believe than to figure it out from a mountain of paper," he said. "It’s hard to swallow that Stanford was smart enough to make billions of dollars, but not smart enough to know what the guy down the hall was doing."
Stanford Fraud Case Puts Old Friends at Odds, The New York Times>>