Mozer plea bargain rejected by US court

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The Independent Online
A US court yesterday refused to endorse a settlement of criminal charges against Paul Mozer, a former Salomon Brothers bond trader, forcing prosecutors to press formal charges against him for his role in the US Treasury auction scandal.

Mr Mozer, who as Salomon's head trader in 1991 was alleged to have made illegal bids during auctions of US government securities, was to have pleaded guilty to having lied to market regulators, a crime unlikely to result in a prison sentence.

But US District Judge Robert Patterson, who is hearing various cases resulting from the scandal, refused to accept the plea bargain, saying the wording of the settlement raised new issues. He also noted that Mr Mozer may yet face separate charges for trying to monopolise the market in the securities in question.

Prosecutors said they were now obliged to proceed with formal charges against Mr Mozer on a broader range of charges, and that conviction would almost certainly mean a prison sentence of at least two years.