Ronald E. Ferguson, the former chief executive of General Reinsurance, along with four codefendants convicted of securities fraud, committed crimes that qualify as high-level offenses subject to stiff sentences, a judge ruled Friday.

At the same time, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Droney in Hartford, Conn., ruled that the group will not have to pay restitution, which could have amounted to more than $500 million, because attempting to locate the thousands of investors would delay the sentencing process.

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