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Former Refco CEO charged with securities fraud

[JURIST] The former CEO of Refco [corporate website], one of the largest commodities brokerage firms in the world, was charged [criminal complaint, PDF] with securities fraud Wednesday for an alleged $430 million debt to the company that he hid from investors. Phillip R. Bennett, who was forced out of his position with the company on Monday, is accused of hiding the debt, which was owed by another firm that he controlled, causing Refco's earnings to be inflated. Refco acknowledged the debt [news release] on Tuesday, a day after it announced [news release] that it would restate its earnings since 2002 in its next quarterly report, which will be delayed. Refco reported that Bennett had repaid the debt with interest. The disclosures by the company, which went public only months ago, raise questions about transactions [NYT report] as far back as 1998. Reuters has more.

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