The former finance chief of brokerage firm Refco has been indicted on charges of helping the bankrupted firm hide hundreds of millions of dollars in losses – defrauding investors and resulting in losses of more than $1 billion, according to federal prosecutors.
Robert Trosten was charged in a Manhattan court with single counts of conspiracy and securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. He served as the firm’s chief financial officer from May 2000 to October 2004, leaving after receiving about $48 million from the company following the sale of Refco shares to Boston-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.
Together, Trosten and the firm’s former chief executive, Phillip R. Bennett, are accused of defrauding purchasers of $600 million in bonds issued by Refco in 2004. Prosecutors say Trosten helped Bennett, hide customer-trading debts in a series of transactions with various holding companies. After revealing those hidden debts a year ago, Refco filed for bankruptcy protection.
The latest indictment also adds a count of securities fraud and two more counts of wire fraud agains Bennett, who pleaded not guilty to eight counts of conspiracy, fraud and other charges last November.
Lawyers for both men have said that they will fight the charges.
If convicted on all counts Trosten faces a maximum of 45 years in prison and a fine of $5.5 million. Based on the revised indictment, Bennett faces as many as 110 years in prison and $16 million in fines.
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