A former outside lawyer for Refco Inc, Joseph Collins, has been found guilty on seven of 10 charges following a four week retrial involving the defrauding of investors of $2.4 billion.
Collins’ 2009 fraud conviction was reversed in January, was found guilty today by a jury in federal court in Manhattan.
Jurors convicted Collins on seven out of 10 criminal charges against him after a four-week retrial. Prosecutors claimed Collins helped Refco Chief Executive Officer Phillip Bennett and other executives defraud investors of $2.4 billion.
“Even though we found him guilty, he was lucky to have us,” Andrea Brennan, Juror No. 9, said after the verdict was delivered this afternoon, on the fifth day of deliberations. “We really agonized over this. People didn’t sleep.”
Jurors found Collins guilty of one count of conspiracy and two counts each of securities fraud, wire fraud and filing false statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was acquitted of bank fraud and two wire-fraud charges. Brennan said that at no time during deliberations did any of the jury members argue Collins was innocent of all the charges.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska set Collins’s sentencing for March 20. He faces as long as five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and as long as 20 years on each of the other charges.
The new trial had been granted by a U.S. appeals court, which ruled that the judge in the first trial improperly instructed a deliberating juror outside the presence of Collins’s lawyers.
Prosecutors at the second trial accused Collins of helping New York-based Refco’s management hide transactions that concealed losses.