Attorney Convicted in Refco Case

     MANHATTAN (CN) – The principal outside attorney for Refco was convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud after a 9-week jury trial, federal prosecutors said. Joseph P. Collins, 58, of Winnetka, Ill., faces more than 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000 or more at his Nov. 3 sentencing.

     Collins was charged in the “massive fraud” in which Refco CEO Phillip Bennett conspired “to steal more than $2.4 billion from potential investors and lenders” during Refco’s sale to Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2004, prosecutors said.
     Collins participated by falsifying Refco’s financial statements to hide the company’s debt of more than $1 billion to a Bennett-controlled company, the U.S. Attorney’s said.
     Bennett was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Former Refco co-owner Tone N. Grant was sentenced to 10 years. Refco CFO Robert Trosten is awaiting sentencing.

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