The bad news: Peter Ghavami is going to spend some time in prison. The goods news: it’s way less than the 21 years prosecutors were hoping for. So that’s something!

Ghavami, the former co-head of UBS’s municipal bond reinvestment and derivatives desk, was handed the 18 month sentence by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York. Prosecutors had sought about 17 to 21 years, a much harsher sentence that would have been longer than the 11-year term given in 2011 to Galleon hedge-fund founder Raj Rajaratnam for his insider-trading conviction. The judge also fined Mr. Ghavami $1 million, significantly more than prosecutors had been seeking in his case. After Mr. Ghavami serves his sentence, he would be deported to Belgium.

Two other UBS former muni-bond officials were expected to be sentenced later Wednesday: Gary Heinz, a former vice president on UBS’ municipal reinvestment desk, and Michael Welty, another former vice president. Prosecutors were seeking about 19 to 24 years for Mr. Heinz and about 11 to 14 years for Mr. Welty. Last summer, a Manhattan jury found the three men guilty of leading a scheme that caused municipalities to pay millions of dollars more for bond deals. Proceeds of local government bond sales were reinvested into investment products that banks compete to sell. During sentencing proceedings Wednesday, Ms. Wood described the three men as “part of a corrupt corporate culture that spanned years.”

[WSJ]

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Comments (6)

  1. Posted by Im_a_Dude | July 24, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    "Take us with you"

    -remaining UBS employees

  2. Posted by you know who | July 24, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    UBS Sucks

  3. Posted by mr_blonde | July 24, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    The guy is a Belgian national, living in the clear in Russia with no chance of extradition on any of this muni bullshit.

    So what does he do? Get on a plane to JFK, get arrested, get sentenced to spend 18 months in the slam and pay a million dollar fine.

    I can see how he aced the UBS MD screening test.

  4. Posted by guest | July 24, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Option 1: Live rest of life in Russia, never to leave.

    Option 2: Spend 18 months in prison, reading books, lifting weights and playing tennis, then living wherever I pleased.

    After considering that they're about to hold the winter olympics in one of the southernmost cities in Russia, I'm going with #2.

  5. Posted by Guest | July 24, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Exercise for the reader: Factor in $1M and Russian slams.

  6. Posted by guasto | July 24, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Peter – welcome to FCI Butner. just here to give you a quick run-down of the basics, get you acclimated. do you exercise? oh great, you're going to love the gym here, it's got everything – i won't even run through the whole list but it's absolutely state of the art. great. now, you will be required to participate in one of our work programs – do you have any skills or hobbies? oh, fantastic, carpentry is one of our best programs, i'll take you by the workshop later but i think you're going to fit right in. super. okay, one last question: are you gay? no? not even a little? ah, that's too bad. you're not going to like the showers one bit.