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The coins were minted in Peru. Descendants of merchants who owned the money aboard the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes have in the past made unsuccessful claims to it.


Accountant: Stanford’s bank audited properly

HOUSTON — There was nothing “extravagant” about the millions that were paid to the outside auditor of jailed Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford’s Caribbean bank, an accountant told jurors Thursday at the financier’s fraud trial.

Prosecutors contend the bank was at the center of a Ponzi scheme that took billions from investors. But Morris Hollander, a forensic accountant hired by Mr. Stanford’s defense team, testified that his review of financial statements and other documents seemed to show the bank was being properly audited by the businessman’s outside auditor, C.A.S. Hewlett, and the bank was adhering to international accounting rules.

Mr. Stanford is accused by prosecutors of orchestrating a 20-year scheme that bilked more than $7 billion from investors through the sale of certificates of deposit from his bank on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua. They also allege Mr. Stanford, whose financial empire was headquartered in Houston, lied to depositors by telling them their funds were being safely invested but instead spent it on his businesses and his lavish lifestyle.

Mr. Stanford is on trial for 14 counts, including mail and wire fraud, and could be sentenced to more than 20 years in prison if convicted. Once considered among the U.S.’s wealthiest people with an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion, he has been jailed without bond since being indicted in 2009.


Bus driver suspended after pen stabbing

KENNESAW — Authorities say a Georgia commuter-bus driver who was stabbed in the face with a pen while trying to resolve a dispute with a passenger has been suspended for not following protocol in the incident.

Cobb County Transit Director Rebecca Gutowsky told the Marietta Daily Journal the driver should have called dispatch for assistance and not confronted the passenger.

Police say the driver went to the back of the bus to keep a quarrel from escalating Monday, and a female passenger grabbed a pen from the driver’s pocket and stabbed him several times in the face.

He was suspended by Lombard, Ill.-based Veolia Transportation, which provides drivers for the system. Veolia spokeswoman Valerie Michael says the company is still investigating.

She says the bus driver is doing fine.


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