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Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 18:07 UK

Stanford chief 'to plead guilty'

James Davis leaves court in Houston on 13/7/09
James Davis was released on bail by the court in Houston

The former financial officer for Texan billionaire Allen Stanford's empire is to plead guilty over an alleged $7bn (£4.3bn) fraud, his lawyer says.

James Davis formally pleaded not guilty at a court appearance in Houston.

But his lawyer, David Finn, told the court his client would change his plea to guilty within two weeks as part of an agreement reached with prosecutors.

Allen Stanford last month pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces. He is currently in detention awaiting trial.

They have been accused of involvement in a scheme which persuaded investors to buy $7bn worth of certificates of deposit from Stanford International Bank, located in Antigua.

Prosecutors say they "promised returns that were too good to be true".

Mr Davis, 60, has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud, and conspiracy to obstruct a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared at the court in Houston.

But, his lawyer David Finn, said Mr Davis would return to court to plead guilty to all charges.

He said the temporary not-guilty plea, given in court on Monday, gives officials time to fulfil a 2004 law requiring potential crime victims to be informed of a plea deal, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Once this is done, Stanford Financial Group's former chief financial officer can change his plea.

Mr Davis was released on a $500,000 (£309,107) bond.



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