Phillip R. Bennett

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Phillip R. Bennett
Occupation Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Employer Formerly with Refco

Phillip R. Bennett is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Refco Inc. and its corporate predecessor, Refco Group Ltd. (Refco).

Bennett was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with orchestrating fraud from 1998 to 2005. He is said to have been worth more than $1 billion at the height of the fraud. The public discussion in October of 2005 of Bennett's scheme, two months after the company's initial public offering (IPO) of common stock, caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to Refco shareholders.[1]

Bennett repaid $430 million in cash, but it was not enough to avoid arrest.[2]In February of 2008, Bennett pleaded guilty in a New York city federal court to 20 counts of conspiracy and fraud two-and-a-half years after his arrest. Prosecutors said losses connected to the fraud topped $1.5 billion. He plead guilty in February 2008 and was sentenced to 16 years in prison in July 2008.[3] [4]

The SEC's complaint alleged that Bennett orchestrated a scheme that periodically concealed hundreds of millions of dollars owed to Refco by a private entity that Bennett controlled. The complaint also alleged that Bennett directed practices that artificially inflated Refco's financial results.[5]

Refco president Tone Grant was convicted and sentenced in August 2008 to 10 years for assisting Bennett in the fraud and his role in the Refco collapse.[6]


Phillip Bennett is a Gloucestershire, England native and a former Cambridge rugby player. He has a wife and two grown children. He is a British citizen and has residences in Manhattan and New Jersey.

Bennett joined Refco in 1981 from Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked in lending. In 1983 he became Refco's chief financial officer, helping to build a small futures brokerage into a global operation in 14 countries with 2,400 staffers, and a huge derivatives clearing operation. Bennett took over as chief executive at Refco in 1998.[7]


Bennett was educated at Cambridge University.[8]



  1. Press Release. SEC.
  2. Inside the Shadowy World of Phillip R. Bennett. Telegraph.
  3. Ex-Refco chief plans appeal of prison sentence. Reuters.
  4. British Brokerage Boss is Jailed for 'Depraved' Fraud. The Guardian.
  5. Complaint filed with the United States District Court Southern District of New York. SEC.
  6. Grant Is Sentenced to 10 Years in $2.4 Billion Fraud. Bloomberg.
  7. Refco Ex-Boss Bennett Pleads Guilty To Fraud. Forbes.
  8. Refco and the IPO Motive.