NEW YORK (AP) _ A former Salomon Brothers trader was sentenced Tuesday to four months in prison for lying to regulators about illegal bids he authorized in the Salomon Treasury auction scandal.

''In the world of financial crimes, deterrence of others is an extremely important aspect of sentencing,'' U.S. District Judge Pierre N. Leval said at Paul Mozer's sentencing.

Mozer, 38, a former managing director of Salomon, was charged with making false statements to Federal Reserve investigators about two illegal bids he authorized for $6 billion in 5-year Treasury notes on Feb. 21, 1991. The bid was $2 billion above Salomon's permitted share in the auction.

Mozer was the only person to face a criminal indictment in the bidding scandal.

Salomon, one of the most powerful firms on Wall Street, admitted placing false bids for Treasury securities between 1989 and 1991 and settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges in 1992 by paying a $290 million fine.

Leval said Mozer gained an advantage from the illegal bids, though the nature of the advantage remains in dispute.

''I realize what I did was wrong,'' Mozer told the court, adding that he didn't intend to personally profit from his conduct.

In October, Mozer pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to regulators and agreed to pay a $500,000 fine.

The offense carried a maximum prison term of 10 years, but federal sentencing guidelines constrained the judge from imposing more than a 16-month term due to Mozer's cooperation and his lack of a criminal history.

Leval also imposed a $30,000 fine.

The revelations of illegal bidding led to extensive Congressional hearings and reforms of the vast Treasury securities market, which plays a crucial role in the economy by financial the government's debt and establishing a ground floor for a variety of interest rates on mortgages and credit card loans.