Ex-UBS bid-riggers may get less jail time

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Ex-UBS Managing Director Peter Ghavami and two former colleagues convicted of rigging municipal bond investment deals may be sentenced to less prison time than the government is seeking, a federal judge said.

Bloomberg News reports that U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood told prosecutors in Manhattan that she may reject their proposed calculations for losses from the scheme, an important factor in determining the sentencing range.

Wood said her decision is tentative and may change before the defendants are sentenced later Wednesday.

'I do not accept all of the elements included in the government’s loss estimates', Wood said during a hearing yesterday. The government was unable to show in some cases 'that the claimed losses are anything more than theoretical'.

In August, a jury found Ghavami and former colleagues Gary Heinz and Michael Welty guilty of wire-fraud conspiracy for rigging bids from August 2001 to July 2002 and arranging to pay kickbacks to the brokerage firm CDR Financial Products Inc. in exchange for help in manipulating auctions. Ghavami and Heinz were also found guilty of wire fraud.

Hit the links below to access the complete Bloomberg article:

UBS Bid-Rigging Trial Judge Skeptical of U.S. Loss Claims

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