Refco Inc.’s former Chief Executive Officer Phillip Bennett and two of his ex-colleagues were ordered to pay $671.7 million to Sphinx Providence Ltd. and its hedge funds for losses stemming from a $2.4 billion fraud at Refco.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff assessed the damages, including interest, against Bennett, former senior vice president Christopher Sugrue, former executive vice president Thomas Hackl and Refco Group Holdings Inc., an entity Bennett owned and used to hide more than $1 billion of debt.
Once the biggest independent U.S. futures trader, New York-based Refco collapsed in 2005, two months after raising $670 million in an initial public offering. Refco Inc., as it was known after the IPO, filed one of the biggest bankruptcies in U.S. history, after having revealed Bennett’s holding company owed it hundreds of millions of dollars.
In the ruling, which was made public today in Manhattan federal court, Rakoff followed last month’s recommendation of a special master assigned to the case. Rakoff didn’t address the special master’s conclusion that former Refco Group Ltd. President Tone Grant should also be held responsible for the damages.
Bennett is serving a 16-year prison sentence. Grant is serving 10 years.
Sugrue was chairman of PlusFunds, which filed for bankruptcy in March 2006 after the disclosure of its relationship with Refco helped spur investor withdrawals.
The case is Krys v. Sugrue, 08-cv-03065, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).