Ill. lawyer wins appeal in NY trial of $2.4B fraud

January 9, 2012 - 12:20 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court in New York has ordered a new trial for a Chicago lawyer sentenced to seven years in prison in a $2.4 billion fraud at Refco Inc.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday overturned the conviction of Joseph P. Collins.

A three-judge panel says the trial judge erred when he failed to disclose the contents of a jury note. It says he also didn't include lawyers when he spoke with a juror accused of trying to barter his vote.

The lawyer from Winnetka, Ill., was convicted in 2010 of conspiracy and other charges.

Federal sentencing guidelines had called for 85 years in prison.

Refco was once the nation's largest independent commodities brokers.