Mayer Brown partner guilty of Refco fraud

A Mayer Brown partner charged with conspiracy relating to the fraud at collapsed commodities brokerage Refco was found guilty on Friday (10 July).

Joseph Collins was formerly head of Mayer Brown’s derivatives group and one of the firm’s most senior partners. As The Lawyer reported in 2007 (19 December 2007), Collins was charged with two counts of securities fraud, three counts of making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other counts including wire fraud and money laundering.

Last week he was convicted of a single count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He was also found guilty on four substantive counts of securities fraud and wire fraud.

In a statement Mayer Brown said: “We’re saddened by the jury’s verdict. Since the matter remains pending, any additional inquiries about Joe Collins’ case should be directed to his attorney.

“As for the firm itself, Mayer Brown acted in a professional, competent and ethical manner in its work on behalf of Refco. We will continue to vigorously assert our many factual and legal defences in the various cases in which the firm itself is a party.”

Collins had claimed that he knew nothing about a debt of more than $2.4bn (£1.5bn) that was hidden by Refco managers. He is scheduled to be sentenced on 3 November.