A New York court has found a former Mayer Brown partner guilty of conspiracy and other charges in connection with fraudulent acts towards the now bankrupt Refco.
Joseph Collins, who testified that he was kept in the dark about more than US$2.4 billion (AUD$3.1b) of debt hidden by top officials at the financial services firm, bowed his head and closed his eyes in pain as the jury foreman recited the guilty verdicts before New York judge Robert Patterson, reports New York Law Journal.
Collins was convicted of a count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and make false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Collins, who is scheduled to be sentenced 3 November, should face a maximum of five years on the conspiracy count and 20 years on each of the substantive counts, but is likely to receive far less.
The verdict came in shortly after the jury sent a note to judge Patterson that it was deadlocked on several counts. Despite an objection from Collins’ lawyer, William Schwartz of Cooley Godward Kronish, the judge said he was willing to accept a partial verdict and sent word back to the jury.
Citing “acrimony” among jury members - one juror complained that another juror had threatened twice to cut off his finger - judge Patterson insisted that each juror be polled individually to ensure no votes were made under duress.