Winnetka lawyer convicted in New York fraud case

NEW YORK — A Winnetka lawyer has been convicted again in New York in a $2.4 billion fraud that led to the collapse of one of the nation’s largest independent commodities firms.

Joseph P. Collins was convicted Friday in federal court in Manhattan after a monthlong trial in the Refco case.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Collins gave the legal profession a black eye by actively participating in the crimes of his client. He says Collins lied and falsified documents.

Collins was convicted once before and sentenced to seven years in prison. The conviction was overturned when a federal appeals court found errors in the trial.

Refco Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2005. Its former CEO pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Collins says Refco executives never revealed the fraud to him.

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