The former chief executive of Refco Inc., one of the world’s biggest commodities brokerages, engaged in a conspiracy that caused Refco to sell $583 million in stock to the public based on “false and fraudulent” statements of its finances, an indictment charged Thursday.

The indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Manhattan accused Phillip R. Bennett and others of conspiring to commit securities fraud when they hid from auditors and investors losses that Refco and its customers had incurred in the financial markets.