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RED BANK FIRM SMACKED FOR TRICKERY

A Rumson commodities trader and his Red Bank firm have been slapped with nearly $6 million in fines and paybacks orders by United States and British regulators for an alleged scheme to manipulate prices for oil, agricultural products and more, according to various media reports Monday.

According to a report by Bloomberg News carried on the Star-Ledger website, NJ.com, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Michael Coscia and his firm, Panther Energy Trading, with market ‘spoofing,’ in which bids and offers in futures contracts for crude oil, metals and other commodities were made anD quickly withdrawn to create the illusion of market demand.

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RED BANK DEFENDER AVOIDS DISBARMENT

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Public Defender Kevin Wigenton was censured by the New Jersey Supreme Court Monday, ending a decade-old disciplinary case that might have resulted in his disbarment as a lawyer.

The court ruled 5-1 that shoddy bookkeeping by Wigenton in his solo practice hadn’t harmed any clients or third parties, rejecting a call by the Office of Attorney Ethics that he be disbarred.

One justice, Judge Dorothea Wefing, who is on temporary assignment to the court from the appellate division, dissented. She wrote that “a short period of suspension” was required “in order to preserve public confidence in the bar.”

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PUBLIC DEFENDER FACES DISBARMENT

just_in1By JOHN T. WARD

On a typical Thursday in Red Bank’s municipal court, Public Defender Kevin Wigenton may juggle dozens of cases, crafting pleas on behalf of clients he’s met just moments before.

But his toughest case ever may be one he had almost a decade to prepare for, and in which he’s the defendant.

On Wednesday afternoon, Wigenton went before the state Supreme Court to ask that he not be disbarred for shoddy bookkeeping discovered in his solo practice in 2002.

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