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Ill. lawyer gets year in prison in Refco fraud

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Chicago-area lawyer convicted in a $2.4 billion fraud that led to the collapse of a giant independent commodities firm has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

Joseph P. Collins was sentenced Monday in Manhattan federal court. Collins was convicted in November of charges including conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud. Collins was formerly the chief outside attorney for the now-defunct financial services company Refco Group Inc.

Refco was once the nation's largest independent commodities firm before filing for bankruptcy in 2005.

The 62-year-old Winnetka, Ill., resident was originally convicted in 2009 but the conviction was reversed last year by the federal appeals court in Manhattan.

Besides Collins, several former high-level executives at Refco have been convicted of criminal charges in the fraud.