A team of Ballard Spahr Stillman & Friedman attorneys successfully persuaded a federal judge in New York to impose a much lighter sentence than the federal government sought for former UBS AG Managing Director Peter Ghavami in a municipal bond bid-rigging case.

Mr. Ghavami, the former co-head of UBS’s municipal bond reinvestment and derivatives desk, was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay a $1 million fine. He will be deported to his native Belgium after serving his sentence. Mr. Ghavami and two former UBS colleagues were convicted in August 2012 for their roles in allegedly rigging bids from August 2001 to July 2002 and arranging to pay kickbacks to a brokerage firm in exchange for help in manipulating auctions.

Federal prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to sentence Mr. Ghavami to at least 17½ years and up to 21 years and 10 months in prison. In handing down the sentence, Judge Wood cited Mr. Ghavami’s “admirable history and character” in overcoming an abusive childhood and questioned the government’s calculations of financial losses in the case.

“Although we were disappointed last year with the verdict, we knew it was important to continue our fight into the sentencing phase, and this the best outcome that we could hope for,” said Charles A. Stillman, Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr Stillman & Friedman, who along with partner James A. Mitchell led Mr. Ghavami’s defense team. “We’re ecstatic that Judge Wood rejected the government’s arguments in weighing the severity of the sentence, and we believe that Mr. Ghavami deserves a chance to move forward with his life. The terms of this sentence will allow him to do just that in a relatively short time,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Other members of the team who assisted in Mr. Ghavami’s representation were of counsel Erik M. Zissu and Mary Margulis-Ohnuma, as well as paralegal Phoebe “Coco” Sprague.

Ballard Spahr’s New York litigators are known for their representation of public figures, political leaders, Fortune 500 corporations, and financial services firms and their executives in a range of high-profile, high-stakes litigation and investigations. They have wide-ranging experience in areas including white collar defense, complex civil litigation, securities enforcement, and professional liability.

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