On Friday, Mayer Brown partner Joseph P. Collins was found guilty of conspiracy and four other charges related to the fraud at Refco Inc. The NYLJ reports that Collins was convicted of a single count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and make false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and four substantive counts — two each of securities fraud and wire fraud.
The verdict came after seven days of acrimonious deliberations by the jury, which included a spat between two jurors that went so far as to include a threat of cutting off the other juror’s finger.
NYLJ reports that witnesses from Refco testified that Collins, who headed Mayer Brown’s derivatives group, “was well aware that the company would not be disclosing hidden debt.” In his own testimony, Collins stated that Refco officials had lied to him and he was unaware of the fraud. He said the transactions at issue were routine ones that he delegated to an associate. “I didn’t personally spend a lot of time. I delegated them,” he said. “I didn’t structure them. I didn’t negotiate them. I didn’t talk to customers about them. They just didn’t require much of my time.”