Collins Takes Stand to Defend His Role as Attorney for Refco

, New York Law Journal

Attorney Joseph Collins said on the witness stand yesterday that he would have resigned from representing Refco Inc. had he known its top executives were engaged in sham transactions and other financial frauds. Taking the stand in Manhattan federal court in a fight to stay out of prison and restore his reputation, the Mayer Brown partner was asked whether former Refco CEO Robert Bennett and other executives concealed from him the fact that ostensibly two-way loans had an unseen, third leg that masked a mountain of debt at the financial services company. "Yes, they did," Mr. Collins said. "They lied to me about the purpose. They lied to me about the third leg. They never told me they were hiding it from their auditors."

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