Partner at top law firm Mayer Brown charged with fraud at collapsed broker Refco

December 20, 2007 A partner at one of the biggest US law firms was yesterday charged with helping hide debts at Refco, the futures and commodities broker that collapsed two years ago causing losses of more than $1bn. Joseph Collins, 57, head of the derivatives group at Chicago-based Mayer Brown, was charged with conspiring to disguise the true financial health of Refco before its flotation in 2005.

Michael Garcia, US attorney for the southern district of New York, said Mr Collins helped Phillip Bennett, Refco's former chief executive, hide more than $1bn owed to Refco by a company owned partially by Mr Bennett via "round trip loan transactions".

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