Ex-UBS Executives Deserve More Than 11 Years, U.S. Says

Three former UBS AG (UBSN) executives convicted of bid-rigging should get prison terms ranging from more than 11 years to almost 20, U.S. prosecutors argued.

A New York jury in August found former UBS managing director Peter Ghavami and two co-workers, Gary Heinz and Michael Welty, guilty of rigging auctions for contracts to invest the proceeds of municipal bond sales. They are to be sentenced this month.

Prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in court papers to sentence Ghavami to at least 17 1/2 years, Heinz to at least 19 years and seven months, and Welty to at least 11 years and three months.

“Almost from the inception of their business, defendants embraced a culture of corruption,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court last night. “They willingly and systematically manipulated the market for municipal investment agreements through a series of separate schemes with their competitors, with a broker, and with providers of municipal investment agreements.”

The three men were found guilty of wire fraud conspiracy for rigging bids and arranging to pay kickbacks to the brokerage firm CDR Financial Products Inc. in exchange for helping manipulate the auctions.

The case is U.S. v. Ghavami, 10-cr-1217, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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