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Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 16:35 UK

Fraud-charge Stanford in hospital

Sir Allen Stanford - file photo 11/06/2008
Sir Allen Stanford denies the allegations against him

Texan billionaire Allen Stanford, who is in jail awaiting his fraud trial, has been taken to hospital.

The 59-year-old was suffering a very high pulse rate and irregular heartbeat, the judge in his case said.

Mr Stanford had been due to appear in the Houston courtroom to hear whether he could have a new attorney.

James Davis, ex-chief financial officer at Stanford International Bank, was in court to change his plea to guilty to charges over the alleged $7bn fraud.

He pleaded guilty to two fraud charges and one of obstructing the US financial watchdog's investigation into the Stanford empire.

Prosecutors

Mr Stanford's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said he had been taken from his prison in the Houston area to a hospital in nearby Conroe at 0530 (1030 GMT).

He had no further details about the financier's condition.

Sir Allen Stanford is facing trial over allegations he ran a scheme which persuaded investors to buy $7bn (£4.2bn) worth of certificates of deposit from Stanford International Bank, located in Antigua.

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

Sir Allen Stanford has pleaded not guilty to fraud, conspiracy and obstruction.



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