Convicted fraudster Allen Stanford has spoken for the first time about the "hell" of being locked up in a Florida jail for 110 years after being indicted for masterminding the second-largest Ponzi scheme in history.

Stanford hit the headlines in England in 2008 when he signed a deal with the ECB to play a series of five Twenty20 matches in the Caribbean, worth a combined £10 million, in an attempt to raise the profile of the game among young people in the area.

But the following year the Texan was charged with fraud worth US$8 billion and sentenced to 110 years in jail, causing huge embarrassment to the ECB and Giles Clarke, who was chairman at the time.

Now the former billionaire has spoken for the first time about a brutal attack in prison in 2009 while awaiting trial that left him with 32 broken bones in his head.


In an interview with the BBC from his high-security prison in Florida, the 65-year-old said: "I was on the phone trying to reach my daughter inside a four-man cell that they had crammed 10 of us into, and I was attacked from behind.

"Some guys slammed my head into a concrete wall, split my skull open and then proceeded to put me in a choke hold... and then they stomped on my face and broke 32 bones in my head and face...

"After my brain swelling went away five days later they did an eight-hour operation to repair the damage. Thirty-two fractures were put back together with mesh and titanium screws. They then put me into a 7 by 6 ft 'hole' - that's the slang we use for the special housing unit where they separate you from everyone else.

"And I was left there for a month to recover and I saw the doctor one time in that 30 days to remove some stitches. I was given no antibiotics and no painkillers. I was put on psychotropic drugs which is the worst thing you can do for someone with a severe brain injury. I had severe concussion and my skull was cracked.

"I was pre-trial, I was presumed innocent... I was denied bail and my treatment, I would call it barbaric. It was something you'd think you'd receive if you were in North Korea or Iran or Russia or somewhere, but not the US.

"My memory began to go on me... I was having residual bleeding on my temporal lobe which they refused to do an MRI on and refused to give me proper neurological care on."

Talking about life in prison, Stanford added: "It's really beyond comprehension when you're in a penitentiary - there's four levels of custody: camp, low, medium - and I'm in the maximum security setting - and I'll just use some penitentiary language here; a penitentiary is violent... and it is a violent existence, and it will test everything you are made of."

Stanford maintains his innocence and claims he has been made a scapegoat by the US authorities for the financial crisis in 2008.

He said: "Will I apologise? No. Mark my words... I am going to walk out the doors of this place a free man."

Moving on to cricket, Stanford says he is sorry for the impact his game had on the ECB and English cricket in general. Stanford was also criticised for what was considered to be inappropriate behaviour around the players' wives and girlfriends during the game.

He added: "It's very sad. I have nothing but respect for the English cricket board and I love the sport of cricket.

"I'm very sorry. It breaks my heart and there's nothing I can say other than that was not caused by Allen Stanford.

"That was caused by the wrongful prosecution, an over-zealous and wrongful prosecution.'

And on the issue of cavorting with some of the wives and girlfriends of the England players, he said: "To tell you the truth I don't remember doing that.

"It's one of those blurry blank spots. What I remember is going down there, I didn't know who they were. I just saw a group of young gals sitting there and they were waving at me and the camera was following me around and they said "come over here and take your picture with us" so I did.

"There was one chair shy of having us all sitting there, so I said 'here come sit on my knee', and we were going to take a picture and that was the end of it.

"I had no idea those were the English players' wives and that created quite a bit of an uproar. But I apologised for it. I went over to the English locker room and I apologised to the guys. I said 'look I was just over there having fun with the crowd like I always do, I was just horsing around, I didn't mean anything by it', and they accepted my apology."