HOUSTON -- Nobody outside the jury room knows what s on the minds of the12 people deliberating the fate of R. Allen Stanford. But jurors Thursday offered an intriguing hint.

After deliberating for about four hours, jurors sent the judge a note asking for a definition of the word scheme.

That word appears repeatedly in the 14-count indictment of Stanford, which you can read here.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner and attorneys for both sides in the case consulted a number of dictionaries, some of which offered definitions that cast the word in a negative light. But in the end, the judge sent back a note with this simple definition: a design or plan.

Jurors have spent more than a month sitting through complicated testimony about the financial empire of Stanford, who stands accused of orchestrating a massive international Ponzi scheme that cost investors more than $7 billion.

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