Bloomberg reports 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 $2.4bn.
'Even though we found him guilty, he was lucky to have us', Andrea Brennan, Juror No. 9, said after the verdict was delivered yesterday 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.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: 'In the eight years since Joseph Collins used his law license to help orchestrate this massive accounting fraud that left a major commodities firm in tatters, neither the gravity of the scheme nor our commitment to prosecuting its perpetrators has diminished, and today’s conviction is testimony to that commitment.
'Over and over and over again, Collins ignored his duties as an officer of the court by actively participating in the crimes of his client – telling blatant lies, falsifying important documents, and concealing others.
'In addition to the staggering losses and financial disarray caused by his actions, Collins gave the legal profession a black eye, something that is intolerable to this Office and to the vast majority of attorneys who serve their clients and the courts ethically and honorably every day'.
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