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Investments

The first: Jefferies trader Litvak gets 2 years for TARP fraud

Sole conviction of rogue RMBS trader carries $1.75M fine

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Former Jefferies & Co. Managing Director Jesse Litvak was sentenced to two years in prison for lying to clients about mortgage-backed securities, Bloomberg is reporting.

U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall also fined him $1.75 million.

Litvak, 39, is the only person convicted of fraud in relation to a $20 billion U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

In March, a panel of five women and seven men found Litvak guilty of 15 criminal counts of securities fraud and making false statements.

The jury convicted Litvak on all counts, including ten counts of securities fraud, one count of defrauding TARP, and four counts of making false statements within the jurisdiction of the United States government.

Litvak pleaded not guilty and is appealing the conviction.

Litvak’s conviction was the first one to be tied to the Public-Private Investment Program. The program used TARP funds to spur investments in RMBS after the 2008 housing and financial crisis.

In January, Jefferies said it would pay a settlement amount of $25 million over charges of abuses in selling mortgage bonds.

Related to this, after the conviction in March, other banks including New York-based JPMorgan received requests for information from U.S. officials about mortgage-bond trading after Litvak’s arrest.

In April, traders at JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) were placed on leave.  

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