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Rubin Sentencing Delayed as Restitution Is Tallied

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has delayed sentencing of CDR Financial Services and its founder David Rubin for several months, granting the Department of Justice additional time to complete complex calculations of restitution.

Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court of Southern New York in Manhattan has scheduled a status conference for Sept. 7, according to court documents released Monday. At that time, DOJ will update the court on the agency’s progress in determining how much restitution it will seek from Rubin and CDR, said Rebecca Meiklejohn, attorney for Justice’s antitrust division.

Rubin, founder of CDR, pleaded guilty on behalf of himself and his firm in late 2011 to criminal counts of wire fraud, bid-rigging and fraud conspiracies in connection with investment contracts for muni proceeds and muni-related derivatives.

Rubin admitted supplying information to companies that were bidding on investment products between 1998 and 2006. Those companies used the information to win bids for contracts or to intentionally submit losing bids so other firms could win. Rubin admitted soliciting fees from the firms in exchange for rigging the bids.

The delay in Rubin’s sentencing follows a May 30 letter in which Meiklejohn asked the court to delay sentencing until at least November, the time the government said it needed to determine the correct restitution it will seek from Rubin and CDR.

Two other former CDR staffers, chief financial officer Zevi Wolmark and vice president Evan Andrew Zarefsky, are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14. Wolmark and Zarefsky pleaded guilty to charges of bid rigging, wire fraud and conspiracy in January.

Meiklejohn’s letter said formulating restitution is “complicated” because 238 muni bond issues may have been affected by bid-rigging or fraud.

“Each of those bond issues is a potential victim that might be entitled to receive restitution,” the letter said.

Restitution will take into account the difference between the rate paid on the agreements and the rate that should have been paid. “The government is attempting to determine, where possible, what the rate on any affected investment agreement would have been, but for the illegal conduct and … what the dollar value of the difference would be,” the letter said.

Restitution also will account for fees issuers paid to CDR for conducting bidding and expenses issuers incurred as a result of Justice inquiries.

Calculations may be further complicated because many issuers already received payments, or are due to receive payments, from large banks that reached settlements with states and federal agencies in recent years.

Five large banks and another financial institution settled, including Banc of America Securities, now Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which agreed to pay $137 million; UBS Financial Services Inc., which said it would pay $160 million; JPMorgan Chase & Co., which agreed to pay $228 million; Wachovia, now Wells Fargo & Co., which agreed to pay $148 million; and  most recently, GE Funding Capital Market Services Inc., which said it would pay $70 million.

State attorneys general also netted hundreds of millions of dollars from banks.

The DOJ letter said the agency has gathered data on money received by issuers as a result of settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The department said it recently received notice that state attorneys general have only distributed money received from Bank of America. Ninety-two percent of the issuers that were offered money in connection with that settlement accepted it.

“Now that we have all the pieces of information in our possession … we estimate that we will be able to finish our project and report to the court in approximately six months,” Meiklejohn said in the letter.

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