Allen Stanford, the alleged Ponzi-schemer who led a billionaire's life allegedly on the alleged backs of allegedly bilked investors, doesn't like his jail cell.
It's got no air-conditioning, it's dark, it's crowded. In other words, it's a lot like Houston in the weeks after Ike. But we're guessing Stanford didn't stay in town to experience that bit of heaven.
Stanford is complaining that the Montgomery County facility he is at is often without power, and he is forced to share a cell with 10 other inmates. We're sure it's not a two-person cell that's simply overcrowded, but still, this is a difficult transformation for a billionaire to make. You remember how tough it was for Paris Hilton.
Stanford says, though his lawyer, that he would like to be transferred to the federal jail in downtown Houston. We think he's not dreaming big enough. If you're going to go to all the effort of filing a request to improve your jail conditions, you should make sure your demands are worth it.
This should be his list of demands:
May it please the court, I, Allen Stanford, do hereby request the following.
1. Location of my jail cell: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. On the windward side of the island, please.
2. Layout of my jail cell: Modest. Say, a Hyatt suite, as opposed to a Four Seasons suite. I am trying to be flexible here. In that spirit, thread count on the sheets need not be more than 750.
3. Cellmates: Two. One does need a valet, of course. As for the other person, I leave it totally up to the discretion of the court, as long as she can suck a tennis ball through a garden hose.
4. Food: Standard fare. For me, that is. (Again, in the interest of being flexible and meeting you halfway, the caviar can be Iranian instead of Russian. If you insist.)
5. Entertainment: Absolutely none needed. Again, I understand I am supposed to be sacrificing here, so I request no TVs or computers. Simply ensuring that my windowed cell backs up to the cricket pitch will be more than enough. For now.
6. In the event of a hurricane, evacuation to: London. Mayfair should be safely enough out of the path of the storm. Your choice between Lear or Gulfstream to get me there.
7. Jail job: Financial analyst. I find doing laundry to be an ineffective use of my skills; I propose instead to counsel fellow inmates on their investments. Failing that, I could be the cricket announcer.
8. Visitation rights for my wife or girlfriend: Not necessary. See what I mean about being flexible? This clause is dependent, of course, on Clause Number 3 being fulfilled.
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9. Bathroom facilities: Standard. As described by a Reuters reporter who visited my office in Houston: "Then on to the bathroom -- a chamber of black granite and mahogany, with a gigantic mirror and granite countertop, flanked with shelves of fluffy white towels and toiletries, including a bottle of 'Brilliant Brunette' shampoo....Perhaps the most unusual thing about the bathroom is a nondescript door to the left of the shower. This was Stanford's separate entrance and exit off the parking deck, where he could arrive and depart in privacy. " This is all I ask.
10. Decorating: Just one little remembrance of Texas. Let's make it the letter I got from then-President George W. Bush.
"I send greetings to the gathered in St. Croix, Virgin Islands to celebrate the expansion of Stanford Financial Group," Bush wrote on White House stationery. "To protect their future well-being and that of their families, it is important for individuals to give careful thought to strengthening their financial security."
All this is not much to ask, I know, but then again I'm a spartan, sentimental kinda guy. May it please the court.