NEW YORK Nov 16 A former Mayer Brown partner
conspired with top executives at commodities broker Refco to
hide its true financial condition from investors, a federal jury
found on Friday at the lawyer's second criminal trial on the
The jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan found Joseph
Collins guilty of seven counts, including conspiracy, securities
fraud and wire fraud. He was cleared of two counts of wire fraud
and one count of bank fraud.
Formerly an outside lawyer for Refco, Collins, 62, was
charged with helping the firm's executives conceal a $2.4
billion fraud that caused the broker's 2005 implosion.
A lawyer for Collins said he would appeal.
Collins was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to seven years
in prison. But in January, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
tossed the conviction, finding that the judge at the first
trial should have called defense lawyers in before advising a
recalcitrant juror to continue deliberating. The court remanded
the case for a new trial.
Sentencing is set for March 20, 2013. The fraud charges
carry a maximum of 20 years in prison each.
The Refco fraud, which was revealed soon after the company's
August 2005 initial public offering, led to the prosecution of
several Refco executives. Former chief executive Phillip Bennett
is serving a 16-year prison sentence and former president Tone
Grant is serving 10 years.
The case is USA v. Collins, U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York, No. 07-cr-1170.