A former Chemical Banking Corp. trader was sentenced to 37 months in prison for concealing a $66 million trading loss amassed through failed bets on Mexican pesos.

Victor Gomez, 36, won't have to pay a criminal fine because he doesn't have the money, U.S. District Judge Michael Mukasey said at a hearing Friday in New York. Mr. Gomez pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy and making false entries in bank records.

Judge Mukasey said he imposed less than the normal range of 51 to 63 months in prison because Mr. Gomez had sought to make money for Chemical, not to defraud the bank.

The Judge also said Mr. Gomez couldn't have predicted a sudden drop in the peso's value, which ballooned what would have been a more modest loss to $66 million.

Mr. Gomez made the trades during the two months before the peso was devalued by about 35% in December 1994. He doctored trading records to conceal the trades from the New York-based bank.

- Seena Simon, Bloomberg News Service

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