Drunken Driving Arrest for Ex-Refco Financial Officer

Drunken Driving Arrest for Ex-Refco Financial Officer

The former chief financial officer of Refco, the collapsed brokerage firm, offered a Florida state trooper $ 1,000 to let him go after being pulled over for drunken driving earlier this week, according to a police report.

Robert C. Trosten, the former financial chief, told the trooper that the federal government would be angry “about his arrest because he was a big deal,” the report says. He also said that his arrest, which occurred on Tuesday night, would “make the front page of the newspaper” and the trooper would be “a big shot.”

Mr. Trosten pleaded guilty to fraud in 2008 and has been cooperating with prosecutors in their cases against other former Refco executives.

Cooperation agreements, which are struck by defendants in the hopes of receiving a more lenient sentence, typically require that defendants not commit any further crimes. If they do, the government can terminate the agreement.

A lawyer for Mr. Trosten, Scott Morvillo, said on Friday that “Mr. Trosten deeply regrets his conduct of Tuesday evening and is taking all measures to ensure that this will never happen again.”

A spokesman for the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, which has the cooperation agreement with Mr. Trosten, declined to comment.

News of Mr. Trosten’s arrest, in Bradenton, Fla., was reported earlier in the Sun Sentinel’s FloriDUH column, which describes its content as “weird, wacky, strange, news from the Sunshine State.”

More than five years after pleading guilty, Mr. Trosten, 44, has yet to be sentenced. He has testified as a government witness in trials of other Refco defendants — Tone Grant, a senior executive at the brokerage firm, and Joseph Collins, Refco’s outside lawyer.

One of the largest Wall Street scandals before the financial crisis, Refco, a brokerage firm based in New York, collapsed in October 2005 after disclosing that its chief executive, Phillip R. Bennett, was hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in bad debt from the company’s auditors and investors. Mr. Bennett pleaded guilty and is in prison. Mr. Grant and Mr. Collins were both convicted at trial.

The Florida trooper reported that Mr. Trosten’s “eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred and thick tongued.”

Mr. Trosten was charged with driving while under the influence, with property damage, and spent the night in a local jail, where his blood-alcohol content was registered at .198 and .213, the report says. For drivers over 21, the legal limit in Florida is .08, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles Web site.



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